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Dear Chump Lady, Where are all the single, available men?

Dear Chump Lady,

Please throw some light on the very stormy waters of the dating world out there. The last page of your book encourages to love again strong and true, and I get this implicitly but WHERE do we meet these new guys? (Especially for those of us who were dealt the wonderful shit sandwich in our fifties and over…)

Where are single available men? (If I hear one of my friends ever mention the grocery store’s alleys as possible love lanes one more time, why, I am liable to wring her little wrinkled neck with my very own hands! The judge will understand and go easy on me..)

Chump Lady, help us understand where we can spot and get to speak with these mythical creatures. Online? If so, which sites would you recommend? Please let us know. We are getting a bit lonely and would really love to hear your take on the dating scene live or online.

Thanks,

Pascale

Dear Pascale,

The supply of straight Single Available Men are all in a knotty pine-paneled man cave, enjoying brewskis and watching the Detroit Pistons in Ferndale, Michigan. I’m not allowed to divulge the street address. To do so would compromise the national straight Single Available Man strategic reserve.

Occasionally one is released, by presidential pardon and an act of Congress, into the dating pool. There you must discern for yourself amongst the thousands of douchebags, predators, and married men if he’s really Single, Available, and decent. Please know you are competing against hordes of other 50+ year-old women for the one, pardoned straight Single Available Man. Hope you look 30 and your tits don’t sag. Best of luck!

May I just say how much I hate this question — where are all the single, available men? There is NO RIGHT ANSWER. The whole question is a horrible set up. To answer means I think a) there is a national Single Available Man shortage; b) I think you need a partner to be happy; and c) they’re all hiding somewhere and I can tell you how to find one.

A) I don’t think there is a Single Available Man shortage anymore than there is a Decent, Not Batshit Crazy, Solvent Woman crisis. There are just people. Some are awesome. Many suck. Go figure it out and have some boundaries as you explore.

B) You don’t require a partner to be happy. In my book I say you should love again and I’m very clear that does not necessarily mean a partner. I say go adopt an orphan, join a historic preservation society, or grow peonies. Quote, “I have no idea what your personal happiness looks like,” unquote, it just doesn’t belong with your cheater.

I do think you should have courage and it is not impossible to love another person again.

C) I can’t tell you how to find a Single, Available Man. I only really know a few men very well. I’m married to one and am the daughter of another. They’re not available. My 21-year-old son is single and available, but if a 50-year-old woman came after him I’d run her off waving a shovel.

I’m really the last person you should ask how to date. I’m a flaming dork. It’s only by the grace of God that I met my husband (another flaming dork). The only dating tips I have are know your worth and healthy relationships are reciprocal. After that, you’re on your own.

Ack! Tracy this is very unsatisfying advice! It’s all very fine and good for you to be so blithe about partnering up, you there from the comfort of your Happily Married status. Apparently you’ve forgotten the dating trenches! You suck!

(Sigh)

Having a good partner is a great blessing. I won’t lie. It’s awesome. BUT IT’S NOT THE ONLY BLESSING IN LIFE. Seriously, live life today as if it’s never going to happen for you. Because you don’t know if it will or won’t. Do not predicate your happiness on finding your One True Love. That very expectation sets you up for unhappiness. Makes you feel a wee bit desperate. Makes you compare yourself to the More Fortunate. Don’t do this to yourself!

We don’t enjoy every blessing. Not every one of us is rich, thin, healthy, fertile or possessing friends, a loving family, children on the honor roll, or six-pack abs. We all get some blessings, but we don’t get ALL the blessings.

And that’s okay.

I’m not saying every blessing is equivalent. Having healthy children isn’t the same as having thin thighs. I’m just saying that it’s okay to not have EVERY blessing.

You have to adapt and overcome. Look, you might not be born rich — you can go out and hustle and work three jobs and it might happen for you. You might become better off than you were, your hard work might get you a Lear jet. Or, it might just make you an exhausted person who works three jobs. You can do things to improve your odds, but you might not get that blessing.

You might not be able to have children. Maybe you really want children and maybe God gave you a crap uterus. You can let that fact make you miserable. Or you can adopt. Or you can be an wonderful involved aunt or Big Sister. Or you can take all that money you would spend on daycare and frozen pizza and vacation in Europe instead. What you cannot do is predicate your happiness on having a functional uterus.

Similarly, you might want to find Mr. Right. You can online date your heart out, get fixed up with every widower at your church, and lay in wait in the frozen vegetable aisle. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t. But don’t predicate your happiness on it happening. Go be your best, happiest self without a relationship and see what happens.

For what it’s worth, I think the odds are good of pairing up again. All people (unless they are sociopaths) want to bond with other people. We crave intimacy and connection. I do think we should all be open to connection with others.

Good people are not “mythical.” They exist. You exist! Just get out there and live life and I trust you’ll cross each other’s paths eventually. Maybe this will result in a boyfriend or maybe a really great set of friends and a vibrator. I don’t know. Good luck.

This one ran a few years ago and I’m still fielding off the gazillion suggestions to start a chump dating site. If you can find an algorithm to weed out the sociopaths, let’s talk. But I fear such a venture would be a feeding ground for freaks. Look! One-stop chump shopping! I still have the very unsatisfying answer of “go be your best self” and try to relax. 

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • My first foray back into dating resulted in being chumped again following the revelation that he was cheating on me with an actual married woman with small children. This was someone I already knew, not a total stranger. Turns out I didn’t know him anywhere as well as I thought I did, and more fool me for thinking I was ‘safe’. The red flags were there but for fear of having trust ‘issues’ I ignored them and was overly trusting and gave him acres of allowance and benefit of doubt. So, my picker definitely still needs a LOT of work, and I still need time.

    I know I still need time because now I’m looking at every man on the street and on the telly and thinking ‘what makes you different? You’re all he same. If you’re not already a cheater you will be eventually.’ Yes. I need more time. And possibly a therapist.

    So I’m focused entirely on me and my kids, continuing to get life in order and living my best one.

    • Just be careful if you get a male therapist. Mine told me after 4 months of seeing him professionally ( 2 yrs from last dday and 1 yr post divorce) that he thought my real problem wasn’t my insane ex, it was that I was hiding behind my ex as an excuse to avoid facing my romantic feelings for him. His proof was that I had missed 3 appointments, which demonstrated ambivalence about my feelings for him as a therapist. Wow. And now he keeps calling me to chastise me for not paying my last bill. Hello, you already got $2,500 in cash out of me in reimbursable medical expenses. I am no longer paying narcissists to fuck with my head.

  • I can relate to this for sure and coming up to 5 years post D day I am only just feeling ‘ready’ to put myself out there in the over 50’s dating pool. it is damn scary and after a very brief time trying online I have decided I want to meet someone in real life first. First thing I have done is spent a lot of time and effort rebuilding my life to be ‘mine’ so any new partners are not filling a gap in my old life. now my life is so different to the ‘old’- I have changed jobs twice, moved to a different part of the country (NZ), bought and sold 2 houses and back on my feet financially and done a whole lot of travel. Son is now ‘adult’ and finished university so not with me so now it is all about me. I am focussing just on widening my scale connections rather than trying to ‘hunt’ for a new mate. My immediate previous job had me surrounded by wonderful positive male role models with whom I had great professional relationships with and helped me see there are still ‘good’ men out there being great partners and fathers and generally good men. I have joined some outdoor hiking and biking groups via meet up and they are a great way to meet nice people of both genders. Now I actually do have to confront to myself that the possibility of dating is now very real. My cheater EX was not only a cheater but also a porn addicted voyeur and I had to come to terms with he fact that pretty much 15 years of my life had been a hologram. I have only had one very brief intimate encounter post D-day and it as way too soon by any stretch of the imagination and left me crying into my pillow.

    I focussed on my relationship with myself and being the best I could be so that when I meet people I am not all gloomy and wallowing in my past. Not easy and I followed Tracy’sadvice of ‘faking it till making it’.
    On the flip side I have had a couple of experiences which made me angry- men I thought were my friends offered sex with a sob story that they don’t have sex with their long term girlfriends/wife. neither of these men knew the details of my situation just that my ex had cheated on me.
    I am 53, feel like I am 40, and just really relearning how it all goes. I don’t want casual hook ups but would like to share my life with someone -or at least a holiday 🙂 be gentle with your self and just focus on being you and trying new things.

      • thank you 🙂 theres always a reason to get out of bed even though some days you just want to curl up and die.

    • Same here, 3 years post divorce, 53. Haven’t had one date. The only men who have asked me I refused as it was pretty obvious that they were single for a reason. I don’t have a whole lot of faith that I will meet someone that I can have a healthy long-term relationship with.

      I don’t do casual sex. I tried on line singles groups and ran away screaming from the horror. And how do you tell that your online friend is actually for real without hiring a private investigator. It hard enough trying to smell out the BS when they are right in front of you, much less over fiber optic cable. Besides, even if I met someone online, what good does it do when they are 50 states away and I don’t have money to travel or interest in relocating?

      So, I’m just working on my life and being as happy and fulfilled as I can be on my own. After all, even alone, I’m not as lonely as I was in my marriage.

      • good on you skunk cabbage- great name!. I agree an authentic relationship with yourself is better than a fake on line one.

  • Wow! This is the first post where by the time I get to read it there is less than 180 comments (currently at 3! So a real low!)

    Clearly the advice either resonates and we have nothing to add (me) or the Chump Nation dating scene really is as dire as Tracy says. I’m going with both. Glad I have no desire to date. All good on my own in Meh-dom thanks!

      • And by the time you read it, the last available man in Michigan will be taken… Trust me, I live in Michigan, and I know there’s only one or two to begin with.

        • I love in Michigan too. And I would have to agree. On two dating sites – I think most 60 years olds are looking for the under 40 girl. Your comment made me laugh Iron!

            • In my mind, anything more than a casual visual-only interest in a person significantly younger than one’s self is a red flag of immaturity at best, and, at worst, a sign that the person has attuned their brain for novelty-seeking and hyper-idolization of youth through heavy porn use and/or patronage of strippers/prostitutes.

              Mature, healty adults may think young people look pretty, but it won’t translate to behavior. We don’t want to exploit children sexually. The idea of getting busy with someone young enough to be our own child is repugnant to us. Also, we care about character, so we prefer partners who can grok our life experiences and have cogent conversations, even for casual contact.

              My two cents, anyway.

              • Thank you. I don’t want to hear that men (it’s usually men) are “wired that way”. Some men have been socialized that way. It’s creepy. And they run around giving themselves high fives.
                Funny thing is, if I wanted to do the same I could wave cash and desparation at poorer hot guys and have no problem picking up casual sex from someone wanting a funded lifestyle. That would be turning myself into a thing, a commodity and having been a different kind of commodity my whole life with narcissitic parents and ex (psychologist verified btw) I don’t need that anymore. It’s not worth trashing myself for a sense of control.

              • Totally agree Aimiisfree. I always watch where their eyes go as predators like the Limited are porn addicted and live in a fantasy world.

              • Amiisfree, yes exactly! It’s not that they’re old, it’s that they are looking at young women as nothing but sex objects. If they wanted a partner they would look for someone with similar life experience and maturity. It’s also about arm candy and impressing others. Like buying an expensive car (people are not objects to be collected). Young women are easier to manipulate too. Another perk for the twisted.

            • I am a young 58; last year I was staying in a small hotel in Paris (because once you are not funding cheaterpants’ double life, there is actually money that you can spend on things like taking yourself to Paris – who knew?!). Well, it IS a city famous for romance, and I actually got hit on – by a guy who was 85 if he was a day. EWWWW!!!! Happily another female guest about my age read the signals – turned out he’d hit on her, too – and came over to “remind” me that it was about time for us to head to our restaurant. So off I went to dinner, in the company of a French woman I had never met before. We had a lovely dinner, and we struck up a firm transatlantic friendship, with plans to get together again. Sometimes life doesn’t give you what you want, instead it gives you what you need.

              • A newly widowed neighbor 24 yrs my senior came to my door with flowers & asked me out for dinner. He said I was all he could think about the past 3 weeks. Ewwwww! What was he thinking? I’m 9 years out from dday, divorced and single & this is what the dating pool looks like!

              • I just lost my post into cyberspace. Pissed. Just wanted to say all “ewwws” are off-putting. It reeks of agism. Yes. Alot of men need a reality check when it comes to dating. But, to spew ewww all over the sight is shallow, callous and cruel! No one wants to be objectified. I’M m a sixty year old woman, and I would be delighted to answer my door to find a man with flowers! Even if I didn’t find him attractive, I could appreciate the gesture! Just sayin’.

              • NotAnyMore, I love Paris! I find the people are usually so nice and helpful. I’ve never seen the French “rude” like people paint them. There’s rude people in every culture, I find Americans are far more rude.

              • On the flip side: my sister was having dinner with our father at a restaurant in Paris. When my dad got up to go to the bathroom the waiter came over to tell her (actually, to scold her) that he’s much too old for her. Well, of course he is: he’s not only old enough to be her father, he IS her father!

            • Hmmm the age thing must depend where you are in life. My ex’s smoochypie is 20 years younger. She was 28 and he 48 when the affair started. They have been together almost 8 years now. I wonder if the age gap will change her perception when she’s 50 and he’s 70? Or will true love be enough?

        • Country Boys! They are hidden in plain sight. They appreciate good women, are animal lovers, and mighty handy with anything that needs fixed around the house.

          The best bait is to raise your hood in a Wal-Mart parking lot appearing to have car trouble. If he uses the word “Ma’am”…..that’s the secret code word to success.

          Country boys will tolerate your obnoxious, insane family….so, in return….please tolerate a few football games and NASCAR races.

          • Yes – But I’d be a little leery if you get a ‘Darlin’ instead! Hahaha – .. er did I say ‘ leery’?
            Fun pun?…Nah

          • Not ALL country boys. My first try–a year after divorce–was with a farmer. Totally not my usual type, but I thought maybe I needed to do something different after being chumped twice. This farmer was a hard working guy, seemed great on the surface, said all the right things. At about 3 months red flags flew up EVERYWHERE! Thank goodness I’ve been following ChumpLady and knew to cut that guy loose. He was a covert narc. No wonder this “good old boy” is still not remarried after 5 years….

          • Nah, guys who like to rescue women and are old-fashioned chivalrous types are often covert misogynists. They put you on a pedestal until they realize you’re human and have flaws. Then they become abusive because you’re “just like all the other bitches”.

            • Rescuing is their hook. Lovebombing and future faking reels you into marriage. Then the mask slips and you’re see he’s really a Cluster B with a constant need for strange. I thank god I saw the real him after 11 months of marriage before I was totally broken.

              • I’m so glad you got out of it that quickly. Mine was a covert narc so I didn’t even know what he was up to until we’d been together for decades. The love-bombing at the start wasn’t even strong enough to seem suspicious, either. Then came the devalue and discard and he was like a completely different person. The thing is that they can even convince themselves they are normal just by mirroring appropriate responses. If they believe they are normal, they can certainly convince you of it.
                I am now suspicious of pretty much everyone I meet because I’ve seen how evil can hide in plain sight. This is the legacy these creeps leave; long after they are gone they are still affecting your life. They most likely know that and get off on it.

            • I am confused. If a man is chivalrous, he is misogynistic? It’s called being a gentleman. It’s a sign of respect. I was raised by a mother and all of my friends moms to be one. I would have been killed if I wasn’t one! That is a stereotype. I have never put a woman on a pediatal. I know women can be extremely abusive (WAS married 24 years to a Covert Narcissist and she had BPD). Even the non-abusive ones around my age have TONS of baggage. I am engaged to a fellow chump, who is imperfect, but I love all of her. But I will hold the door for her, walk on the outside, etc.

              • No. Nobody said that. But sometimes chivalry and respect are conditional: You only get them as long as you play the part of the nice, well-behaved, little lady. When it turns out you’re a normal human with normal human weaknesses, foibles, and possibly a steel spine, you’re out of line and you don’t deserve chivalry and respect any more.

                I haven’t dated any of these but I’ve known some socially.

        • I was wondering if it was just where I am now— I used to live in Michigan and have images of all these potential quality men that might be there if I moved back—— Thanks for clarifying that.

    • I think you just clicked on it right after it was posted. That being said, CL is right – this site is about healing and recovering from infidelity, and maybe for avoiding future cheaters, so you’re not going to have a lot of other topics discussed – be they how to find dates or how to make spaghetti puttanesca.

  • it’s three years in, and i am horny as hell. i don’t fit into the modern online dating world; it’s just so forced and fake. not me at all. unfortunately i live in a small town and there is no one i’m interested in…i basically feel invisible in my mid 40’s which is super sad. have always been happy on my own but, for once, i’d really like to connect with someone. i’ve become a master at pleasuring myself and am dying to have good sex for the first time in my life after being married to someone who had no idea what he was doing. as i said, i’m horny.

    • Dating sites will work for getting laid if all you are looking for is the sex. Give it a try. Though you might want to do that while on vacay in a big city…more choices

      • Several women screwed my husband after meeting him on match.com while we were married. You can too. He’s remarried and still at it. He’s actually really good at sex.

        • That was one of my major issues with online dating. I kept looking at the profiles and wondering if any of their exes were chumps I know from CN. A not-yet-ex spouse of a chump would be even worse.

  • ‘gazillion suggestions to start a chump dating site”

    Funny website names:
    1. MiseryLovesCompany.com
    2. GotChumped.com
    3. LookingForAFix.com
    4. BaggageBuddies.com
    5. WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong.com

    5.

    • Love number 5….made me laugh this morning. Needed that, I’m 7 months in from DDay, 5 months divorced. DS (14) is running hot and cold with being a reasonable tween and being verbally abusive. He’s got Attachment Disorder / PSTD (adopted at 2 1/2) and this has his him so hard. He’s really struggling. I’m really struggling. Scared for what will become of him — am I enough to pull him through this? In honesty I’ve had long conversations with God about my feelers and even the fact I don’t think I can do this. Scares the hell out of me, he’s my son and I’m all he has. He is a child, I’m the adult. I just don’t feel very capable.

      Two nights ago I actually had the thought ‘if I had someone they could help me (with all the things that scare me). I immediately knew it was wrong and wouldn’t work. I just don’t have anything else to give and I’m so desperate I wouldn’t have boundaries.

      I want to be happy. I want to feel like I didn’t waist my life. This is a great post for me to read today.

      • Love number 5….made me laugh this morning. Needed that, I’m 7 months in from DDay, 5 months divorced. DS (14) is running hot and cold with being a reasonable tween and being verbally abusive. He’s got Attachment Disorder / PSTD (adopted at 2 1/2) and this has his him so hard. He’s really struggling. I’m really struggling. Scared for what will become of him — am I enough to pull him through this? In honesty I’ve had long conversations with God about my feelings and even the fact I don’t think I can do this. Scares the hell out of me, he’s my son and I’m all he has. He is a child, I’m the adult. I just don’t feel very capable.

        Two nights ago I actually had the thought ‘if I had someone they could help me (with all the things that scare me). I immediately knew it was wrong and wouldn’t work. I just don’t have anything else to give and I’m so desperate I wouldn’t have boundaries.

        I want to be happy. I want to feel like I didn’t waist my life. This is a great post for me to read today.

        • 14 is a rough age even without attachment issues. You have my sympathy and hope you can feel the support.
          You are and will continue to be a strong parent.
          Can you do this?
          Alone?
          Yes, because you have to!
          One of mine had other issues and, despite being married, I truly was alone in raising him. I just didn’t realize I had been doing it all alone until after the divorce! Please remember that you are the one with your son and you can be a team for each other.
          If I can offer you something to hold onto, it is that you will somehow get through each day trying the very best you can and it will have to be enough. Anyone who has made it so many years with achild with attachment issues can make it through the difficult teenage years – one day at a time.
          The reward for your determination and presence will be worth it. You will always know you did the very best possible for your son. As I am sure you know, not every issue can be solved the way you hope it will be. Parenting such a child isn’t out of a storybook but there are plenty of healthy, solidrelationships to use as role models.
          May I also suggest a “parents without partners” support group for single parents with or without issues. You need that support, especially at 14!!! It is rough!
          My son with issues is now in his 30s. He is happy and has a wonderful life, just not the one I would have predicted. He is financially successful, has friends, travels the world and know that his mother loves and supports him no matter what. I love that we are still a team.
          Keep up the good work.

        • You are so right–the thought that finding a partner will help you with all the things that scare you is the worst thing you can do. You rightly point out that thinking this way makes you vulnerable because you aren’t picking from a point of strength and confidence. You are seeing being in a relationship as a life raft. That makes you vulnerable to users and predators. That makes you prone to settling rather than finding someone who is a good match for you.

          And don’t discount how important the things that scare you are. That’s where your growth is. You don’t have to tackle them all at once. And you can tap friends, relatives, neighbors and professionals to get a handle on those things. For example, I don’t do the maintenance on my riding mower myself. I outsource that. But I’ve learned how to operate it. I tried for a couple of years to do “leaf season” by myself and I know that’s impossible. So I’ve found a young person who needs the money and is willing to help. When he moves on, I’m confident I will find someone else to help or figure out another solution. I’m a much happier, more relaxed and confident person because I’ve learned to face things that scare me, to understand that there is no one perfect solution, that things change from year to year, that I can ask others for advice when I’m not sure how to proceed. I went through 4 tree people before I found the one who is affordable, ridiculously qualified and knowledgeable, and aligned with my goals.

          Once you know you can handle your own life on your own, then you can bring that life confidence to dating, which allows you to say, when you need to, “This isn’t working for me.”

          • LAJ, what you said hit me like a brick wall. I was looking to the Dickhead to be my life raft, my safety. My narc father left me vulnerable to abandonment (and that’s exactly what Dickhead did) and I dated a guy in high school who was in the closet but he was young and this was in the mid-80s. Because he didn’t want me like I thought other teenage boys wanted teenage girls, I turned that inwards not realizing that he just wasn’t attracted to women.

            I had moved away from my hometown where all my relatives still live, graduated as a non-traditional (aka older student) student, and started working at the university where I still work today. I was comfortable being me and he seemed/projected to be a guy that was good, safe, open.

            It all goes back to those damn FOO issues. It’s only by peering into other relationships that I realized that my marriage wasn’t like theirs. I discovered over the last few years that I never had that easiness with which two people exist. I never had it with my father either. I’ve worked with many men over the years. Some are very kind, some are just nice and some are scumbags dressed in suits. Wish I had paid more attention to kindness when I was younger. Not enough emphasis is given that quality. I don’t recall anyone every saying look for kindness…it matters and it will matter for years to come.

        • Hi Silver Anniversary,
          I agree, #5 for the win!
          Divorced 1.5 years, 3 years out from Dday and ex living off in fantasy land with his girlfriend half his age (and much closer to my sons age than his own)……I have a 16 year old adopted son and 14 year old daughter who I’m parenting alone too. My son has taken it hard, has never been to his dads new place, and is borderline verbally abusive to me and my daughter at times as well. It’s taken 2 years to convince him, but he starts therapy tomorrow. Hes a great kid who’s really struggling. He’s tired of hurting, and ready to look at what’s going on. I struggle every day to put down my anger at ex for hurting my kids so badly, then leaving me to clean up the mess alone. No time to date here, I’m mother father breadwinner and commuter. You’ll get through this, we all will. Hugs.

          • I’d just like to add that another resource for kids is “Outward Bound.” Their wilderness trips vary in length, but kids learn a huge amount about themselves and what they’re capable of. The experiences builds teamwork and includes a component of service to a town where the camping happens.
            My own son, in his early twenties and coming off the rails, did two of these trips, one for two weeks, and one a semester long “leadership” course. They saved him. In fact, he recently told me, years after his trip, that he doesn’t know where he’d be right now if he hadn’t had those experiences.

        • Silver,
          My sister adopted two children as a single parent. One, now 18, has fetal alcohol syndrome, with cognitive issues, and will never be fully independent. One thing that has helped my sister to raise her son was Big Brothers (and Sisters). She was really lucky that her son was matched up with a guy who has maintained contact with her son since he was 4! You might see if there’s a Big Brothers and Sisters branch where you are. Or work through the YMCA youth programs.

    • I like it! How about:
      7. Mutual knife removal society
      8. Ex- gullibilty club
      9. Reality Kings – oops that’s a band – Reality studies group
      10. Liar detection society
      11. Psycho identification club
      12. Society of Abandonment
      13. The shit sandwich club
      There – that’s a decent start! It’s a contest!

  • My divorce was 3 years ago. I did not feel like dating up until recently. It’s so strange, but I met a nice guy through a game of wordfeud. We startend chatting about wordfeud, but it got more personal. We started texting and then hé called me to hear my voice. We exchanged several picture. This coming saturday we will meet for the first time in a bar…. We’ll see how it goes. And now I got another invite just a few days ago, from a guy I know from a discussion forum on Facebook (about politics, education, etc.). He sent me a FB message if I would like to discuss some more over diner in a nice restaurant. I thought ‘ why not’? So next weekend I am meeting that guy. I know for sure both are single. So I am quite excited! I live in the Netherlands, so that’s an advantage. Nobody lives extremely far away….

  • Woohoo, 3 years after D-day and 1.5 years after finalized divorce, on my first attempt with the scary world of online dating, I met a nice lady I really like! (single mother, fellow chump, would you know…)
    Second date on Friday, wish me luck!

    Greetings from a single hopefully-soon-unavailable man in his early 50’s 😉

      • Serendipity.
        Hello all, just went on my first date tonight. Worse than bad. Tracy’s ‘face like a boiled potato’ anecdote stuck in my mind. Always makes me laugh. Not that he looked like that, it’s just that it was so bad it was ridiculous in its absurdity.
        Then I went to bed crying that me ex had put me in this situation where all I really wanted was to stay home and be a happily married wife and mother. Yes feeling sorry for myself. Got onto CL for some comfort and inspiration and this posting jumped right out at me.

        Going through my mind as my date raged against his ex was how much I have done to build my new life. A lot of the time it just felt like hard work getting there.
        But I have a great life in so many ways, rich and interesting and busy with old friends and some new ones. And I can see that much of this has come out of the hard slog. Getting up and going to work when you don’t want to, going out to a social gathering when you want to curl up in a ball and stay home. All the hours sorting finances, for settlement and divorce, finding documents , changing my name on everything….. I feel so strong and resilient and grounded.
        Not sure I would want to give that new life up or squeeze in a new relationship.
        A good relationship would be great… sometime. But there are so many other dimensions to our lives. I’m going to enjoy what’s here in front of me.
        Anyway I’ve been on the dating site for only a few days! I’ll give it a few more dates.
        The one thing it has done is refocused my mind. It was stuck in a backwards reel, and now I have shifted my thoughts forward a little.

  • I think I read this here a while ago. “This ain’t Noah’s Arc so you don’t have to be pair bonded.” I didn’t think I’d ever agree with that but 5 years after my divorce I definitely do. Part of the reason my marriage lasted 3 years beyond its expiration date (dday) was because I was afraid of being alone. It took a while to realize this but I was lonely in my marriage which is far worse than being alone.

    The way I look at it is that my picker was really broken and I had horrible boundaries. I needed to work on that before I could consider dating. These days, I just think if it happens, it happens and if it does and it’s someone compatible then it will enhance my life and add to the positives. It definitely won’t be the end of the world if it doesn’t.

    And I’m with you Tracy. We don’t need a chump dating site. No need to point ourselves out to the sociopaths of the world!

    • I can truly relate to the above.

      I’m 9 years from DDay and 6 years divorced. I’m now 62. Happy, healthy, feeling and looking great.

      I did the insanely hard work of clawing my way out of more dark places than I care to remember, figured out who I am and what I want and am now living a genuine life.

      Dated for 4+ years online; not sure why I was never fixed up but whatever. Joined many groups and participated in many activities along with a job that introduced me to new, interesting people on a regular basis. The result was no love interest but lots of new friends and a fun, compainionless life.

      Last fall I decided to take down my dating profiles because dating started to be more work than fun. The relief I felt was immediate and convinced me that I made the right choice for me.

      This topic is particularly timely for me!!! Literally 5 minutes before reading Chump Lady, I sent a photo to my kids showing me under a cozy throw with my puppy, coffee and morning TV. The photo was labeled “this is what happiness looks like”.

      I have the best new job in the world – being a volunteer nanny for my new grandchild – and my life is filled with wonderful friends who make up for all the family I lost in the divorce. I wake up every morning feeling energized and blessed. I’m content with what others may look at as a very simple life. I own my own home which is the perfect size and style for me. I live within my means and find joy in all the small stuff. I left my ex in the dust a while back. I will always have questions as I was just dumped. While the cheating, lies and divorce are part of me, none of it defines me.

      If I happen to meet someone along the way, I am open to it. The only difference is that I stopped actively seeking a partner. The hope of possibly finding love remains. I just take one day at a time and leave myself open to all possibilities.

      I hope every “senior” Chump can find their own level of happiness and contentment because the peace that comes with that is beautiful!

      • Love your attitude Rebecca! If that isn’t Meh (or even better than Meh), I don’t know what would be.

      • Yay Rebecca! I’m with you. Five years post discard, and absolutely treasuring being my own person every day.

        I’m never lonely, because I have so many wonderful people in my life–kids and grandson, siblings, friends both new and old. I always have someone to do things with and to share experiences.

        I’m not dependent on anyone, not beholden to anyone, and don’t have to consider anyone else when I make decisions. After being coupled up with some guy or other since I was 17, this is a total breath of fresh air. No drama, no angst, no hurt feelings, no red flags, no narcissism, no neediness, no having to baby a fragile male ego.

        Since I’ve been single, I’ve been pursued and wooed by a few very good men, even at my age (63). I’ve rejected all of them. I find I’m just not interested any more. Maybe I will be again some day. It’s been a long, hard haul, but I’ve done such a good job learning how to take care of myself I find I don’t need anyone else in this dynamic right now. (And never in a million years would I trade places with any of the married women I know. Most of them either don’t have a great life, or just aren’t happy people. Or both.)

        I think it helps that I’m old. I might not feel this way if I were 20 years younger. Then I might feel more up to facing the challenge of trying to trust again. But I don’t think the challenge is a man shortage, the challenge is having confidence you can identify the good ones.

        • Champchump, I’m with you 100%. I turned 60 last September. My ex left in 2010 and the divorce was final in 2011. I was with my lovely Dutchman for 6 years but we are no longer a couple, although still friends. And I’m perfectly happy alone. In fact, quite out of the blue, the local farmer asked me out three weeks ago. I almost fell over but had to explain to him that I wasn’t looking as I was more than happy with my life and not looking to change it. And more to the point and just like you, I actually don’t envy any married friends. Maybe some are happy but seemingly not the ones talking to me, so I’m done. Love my life as it is!

      • I am not way close to feeling that way about being single. I am told that I will eventually get the Meh. I get frustrated when X contacts me and frustrated when X doesn’t contact me. I think many night can I do this one more day?

        I know in my brain that I do not have a choice because I have children who depend on me but still…he left, got a new life, new truck, a cheating, home wrecking whore, and no responsibilities and I am left behind to clean up the mess.

        My teenage daughter did not do well with DDay (8 months out) and is now in a residential treatment facility for teens. I truly HATE going to therapy there, and multi-family therapy and supervised visitation. I know in this brain of mine that it is what is best for her.

        I feel like every time I go it about “top this” among the patients. Who has the worst problems. I want to put my lying, cheating, home wrecking, crazy, selfish, self centered, selfish, immature, did I say selfish X out of my life but I get to keep talking about it. UGH…Why can’t she see him for what he is?

        It is so draining and my cheater X isn’t allowed much contact because he is so screwed up in the head and believes he has nothing to do with her problems. I am so tired all the time. My job is great and supportive but it is still job and it is hard and time consuming, the other children are hard and need attention. How could he justify that “his happiness” was more important then these children that he created and has been trusted with? Did I say I was tired?

        How can he just walk away and believe in any sort of way that it was okay? Leave me fine….live your kids you are not a real man or father!

        It would be so nice to have somebody to help and care about my children who loved me.

    • Cheatersuck, I too was afraid of being alone, so I put up with a lot of abuse. And, as usual, I thought I was the problem… I am 67 now and D-Day was 3 years ago.

      Now I am so busy with family, a first grandchild, my job (I love it) and starting farming that I have no time to think about being lonely. I do envy elderly couples in my age range that I can tell are true companions, but better alone than in bad company.

      I’m glad Tracy posted this rerun today. I had never read it and it did me good. I will print this part to carry in my billfold: “Having a good partner is a great blessing. I won’t lie. It’s awesome. BUT IT’S NOT THE ONLY BLESSING IN LIFE. … We don’t enjoy every blessing. We all get some blessings, but we don’t get ALL the blessings. And that’s okay.” And I am blessed.

    • I’m with you guys on not needing a chump dating site. If one were to spring up, I can imagine a lot of people who are tuning in to CL for the first time, finding the dating site and jumping in to try to ease their loneliness way too soon, which can create some bad feelings between members of this site.

      Also, I think that the philosophy of it is kind of antithematic to ChumpNation. The message I get from the blog is basically, “Find yourself, empower yourself and be yourself, no one else can complete you, until you first put your own puzzle together. You CAN be happy without a significant other.” Adding a dating site to that would imply (to me anyway) “Yeah, you CAN be happy by yourself, but why try?”

  • “…your hard work might get you a Leer jet.”

    LOL.

    Well, 6-pack abs might get you a leer, but big, big money is usually how one acquires a Lear jet.

    That tickled my funny bone. I figure many of us on this site are familiar with King Leers. 😉

    Pascale – listen to Tracy. Go forth and be PASCALE. Enrich the life you have and enjoy it. Maybe a full-time male companion with whom you nick well will come along but it shouldn’t change your pursuit of enriching your own life.

  • I’m printing this out and posting it in my home office.

    5 years since d day. Im going to do things i enjoy, and if the universe sends me someone, great, if not at least I had a great time. I’m tired of giving my energy to the cheater, even if it’s just real estate in my head.
    All done.
    Life is for living not waiting for next year. I may not get that.

    I love reading these every morning.

    Thank you Tracy, you have been on a journey with me and you didn’t even know it!

  • I’m a single guy! Lol. 6’ 3” (I’ve shrunk lol) 250lbs, (I could lose a few pounds but people maybe politely say I don’t look that heavy) will be 45. I make $85,000, government job with a pension (and 20% ofmy cheating Xs pension lol) 2kids,8&12, blue eyes, brown hair, sardonic humor, liberal/progressive, love movies and books, watch the Super Bowl and maybe a few other games but not into book. Love museums, history, art museums, want to see more live theatre, getting into cooking, make great omelettes (maybe in the fourth of fifth date 😘lol) like classic rock, 90s grunge. I can brew my own beer but I’d easily orders Bud or Blue Moon. Find me in NJ.

    • Betrayed and Confused, I’ve been reading your posts here, and honey, you are SO NOT READY TO DATE YET.

      Please, please take a break and do some healing first. When you’re finally happy to be on your own, you’re ready to date again.

    • Look in the forums and see if there is a chump group near you in New Jersey. You need a peer support group more than you need dating at this point. I know here in Colorado, the ChumpNation group has saved my butt numerous times, and we all look out for each other and give each other feedback on our dating prospects, dealing with our exes, and just life in general. You need to have a posse. From there, there is safety in numbers. That will help you when you are finally ready to date. If such a group doesn’t exist, form one. That will be an excellent exercise in growth anyway.

  • Tracy.
    Set aside one day or topic For each of us to post what our singles ad would say. Just for fun.

    😂

  • I hate this Pistons game, but the guys won’t change it with 10mins left and tied up. It smells like a locker room and how I ended up in Michigan is beyond me.
    ….

    I’ve been reluctant to bring up dating as this site as it is so laser-focused on the newly-chumped.

    I started dating post divorce long-before I was ready. In many ways I’m still not ready to commit to another life partner just yet. But I’ve been learning a lot about myself in the comforts of adult life as I understand it. And the woman I’ve been seeing has been cool about where I’m at.

    I know great single guys who are as every bit messy as anyone else. I’ve met and crushed on women who turn out to be every bit as messy as anyone else & I’m glad to have missed-out.

    It’s a messy soup of people. But I agree; happiness is an internal joy that comes first, something I’ve felt lucky to hold on to – if even a tiny bit – during the shittier times.

    • The trick in Michigan is finding something you love about every season… you may even get to enjoy all of the things you love in the same week. LOL

  • Part of what makes us Chumps is, we usually look on the bright side of life, putting emphasis on appreciating what we have, rather than expending any meaningful energy dwelling on what we don’t have. (That’s what cheaters do.)

    Funny (and sad) how this can easily go out the window when it comes to our own dating/partnership status.

    Try as best you can to get back to the goodness, decency and appreciation that makes you a catch in the first place.

    • I was talking to my 12 year old about her dad and I divorcing. I told her to not look at the bad but let’s talk about the good. The trips we will take, the Mommy and me time we get to have. It was fun some of the things we talked about. She is only 12 and struggling but after that talk she wasn’t so sad. She gets some things. It was neat to see you say chumps look at the good… cheaters the loss. You couldn’t be more right!

  • It’s a matter of taking action. Are you putting yourself out there? I can’t find you if your sitting at home. Are you on the dating sites? Involved in social activities that you would enjoy with your potential partner such as a book club, church groups, mountain biking, etc..? As Chump lady said, set some boundaries for yourself. Make a list of what your looking for in a guy. Learn to weed through the bad people. Most importantly make sure you are the person who you are looking to attract. If you have standards, the guy your looking for has standards too.

  • I’ve been re-reading Cloud and Townsend, ‘Boundaries’. Found this p 153 – it’s for Christians, but you can just as easily read ‘he’ for ‘she’ in the first paragraph.

    “What does [dating] mean for the person whose boundaries have been injured? Often, she brings immature, undeveloped aspects of her character to an adult romantic situation. In an arena of low commitment and high risk, she seeks the safety, bonding and consistency that her wounds need. She entrusts herself too quickly to someone whom she is dating because her needs are so intense. And she will be devastated when things ‘don’t work out.’

    This is a little like sending a three year old to the front lines of battle. Dating is a way for adults to find out about each other’s suitability for marriage; it’s not a place for young, injured souls to find healing. This healing can best be found in nonromantic arenas, such as support groups, church groups, therapy, and same-sex friendships. We need to keep separate the purposes of romantic and nonromantic friendships.”

    I like this book overall, but this seemed very timely. You need a pretty thick hide and a pretty high level of self-knowledge to go back out there, and even then, it’s not a necessity if you find that what you already have is enough.

    And yeah, I’d feel sick if I thought that Chump Nation was only for pairing up again. I love that plenty of Chumps have decided they’re happy on their own, with good friends and dogs and lives and kids.

    • Boundaries are important, real important…if I knew them better I would have kicked my ex to the curb along long long time ago. Saved myself a lot time and money

  • Four and a half years out from Dday, and I just broke up with a guy I’ve been dating two years. He was SO GREAT to me. In the beginning. Chumped again, though, and I’m so angry with myself. I’m happy to say, I at least seem to have grown a spine. And for the first time, I’m starting to feel like being by myself might be not just okay, but actually fantastic. Starting to feel that mightiness I’ve been waiting for. What’s it like to not NEED anyone?? I’m getting there. And I really think it took round 2 of chumpdom to really see what a low view I’ve had of myself. Thank you for creating this space, Chumplady!!

    • That’s the challenge. We have to learn to spot people who are “so great” because they are hunting for prey.

      I date someone I call a “very kind man.” But I would never, ever live with someone again. I like my alone time. I have control of my own money. I control my own TV remote. No one is mean to me inside my own walls. And after a lifetime of “mean,” that’s so important to me. There was a guy I really clicked with when started dating, but he told me he has a “mean streak,” and I knew right there we could be friends but nothing more.

      When we NEED a partner, we are vulnerable to users. When we are solid on our own feet, we can take our time and get to know whether someone belong in our life and on what level.

        • And for the people who think the first or second person they meet after getting back in the dating pool is going to be “the one”–stop that right now. What are the odds that the first person I see when I walk out of Home Depot is going to be “the one”? The goal needs to be to educate yourself about what kind of person is right for you and how to spot those that can’t make the grade.

      • I wouldn’t even be friends with somebody that admits they have a mean streak. Who needs that in a supposed friend ?

      • When we need a partner we are vulnerable…

        Exactly this!!!

        I ended up not only a chump – but overlooking some red flags and moving in with Mr.Fantsdtic after my divorce because I was alone, living in a city I hated and I felt it was better than…

        I moved out secretly one weekend after he beat the stuffing out of me. Not so fantastic.

        Funny story. I bought my own business and a total fixer upper year round cottage near the beach and I moved out. I did this for ME.

        Once I was happily doing my own thing, something happened. A client who I have known for over 5 years ( a fellow chump – very shy ) brought me furniture from his deceased Mom’s house ( I walked away from much of mine ).

        He has not dated in over 10 years. He brought me flowers. I really had no expectations and continued to work on myself.

        Guess who I am dating ?!?

  • I think it would be fine to have a dating site, so long as there are Red Flag pop-ups triggered by certain phrases on all inbox messages… like the paperclip thing with eyes but a red flag with rolling eyes. It doesn’t remove anything, just rolls its red-flag eyes near the suspicious crap in question.

    We just need a comprehensive list to start:

    grew apart
    overlap
    open-minded
    pic for pic
    you got a purdy mouth
    wife is a bitch
    no one understands me like you do
    child support is ridiculous
    whore
    bitch
    slut
    boring
    pina coladas
    walks on the beach
    evolved
    man’s man
    jealous
    whatsapp
    separated
    almost divorced

    And so on… because otherwise, be confident that you’ve helped us fix our pickers in general, not just for romantic partners.

    • I want to add to the list of Red Flags

      when a parent doesn’t see his kids often (OR at all) AND especially when the kids are older,

      but blames OTHER people for their poor relations with their offspring:

      “Ex turned them against me/Won’t let me see them/they’re a lot like the ex” — How can you date that?

      ANOTHER red flag – “I have a GREAT relationship with my kids …we don’t see each other often and we just can’t get our schedules to match up — but I talked to them at Christmas…”

      The other Red Flag is when the person says they’re close to their kids “but the kids were mad at me for a few years there….NOW we’re all good”

      = the kids hated the shit sandwich of discarding/OW/OM, but in the end chose to have some form of relationship with a shitty parent.

      The Narc converts this reluctant but primal need for a parent in one’s life, as validation of their perfectness.

      I will not date someone who isn’t on loving speaking terms with their kids over 14 (in case the young ones really do have an alienating parent – uncommon but not unheard of).

      I would not date someone who doesn’t try WITH ACTIONS to see his kids often

      Obviously I would not date a cheater. But somehow I’d have to know they were cheaters, which is the problem in this whole scenario.

      HOW to know??

      \

      • This helps me weed out potential dates too…it’s a clear red flag when they don’t see their kids

        Plus if they divorced for any reason except cheating or abandonment….it’s usually a big big red flag too.

      • Character. You look for kindness, not niceness. Generosity but not grandiose “look at me” generosity. You pay attention to how someone approaches problems. How they talk about other people, how they talk about their work , how they talk about the past. Do they learn from mistakes?Can they admit mistakes? Do you feel comfortable changing a plan if something comes up? Do you see flashes of someone who is intolerant? Critical? Controlling?

        And take a look at yourself. Are you so deprived of love and kindness that you can mistake the courtship from a predator for actual “love”? You can’t find a partner who is healthy and whole if you have your own aching void that needs to be filled.

        • LovedeJackass

          All you listed-
          Character. You look for kindness, not niceness.

          -Kind to elderly people and children, going all the way to accommodate others

          Generosity but not grandiose “look at me” generosity.

          -Yes, checked

          You pay attention to how someone approaches problems. How they talk about other people, how they talk about their work , how they talk about the past.

          Checked; problem solver and not badmouthing others

          Do they learn from mistakes?Can they admit mistakes? Do you feel comfortable changing a plan if something comes up?

          -Check check check…

          Do you see flashes of someone who is intolerant?

          Not really

          So, after 15 years with extremely manipulative, covert narc- who was/ is fooling EVERYONE around… I ended up with PTSD and knowledge that when I was “ playing house and creating home for him and later our children”

          He was playing with CL, hookers, hundreds of women, many met in real life for “ dating and fuck” …. porn etc.
          Mask started slipping when I started asking questions about strange incidents and behavior…. 😔just be careful ladies…. they can be really convincing

        • When observing how they solve problems DO NOT jump in with chumpy fixer powers. This requires practice.

          In my experience it begins with complaints. Learn to say, “Sorry to hear that.”

      • DOCTOR’s1stWife&Kids, I would add a caveat to your comment on people who don’t have a relationship with their adult children. One of my good friends, who was divorced years ago, has a daughter who refuses to see her. But this girl believed her narcissistic father who lied about everything. I believe this is a case of parental alienation. My friend has made repeated attempts over the years to connect with her daughter to no avail. She is heartbroken.

      • That’s not always true. I was a true victim of a psychopath bi-polar (diagnosed). He’s turned both my grown children, both families, old school mates, and people we went to church with for year against me. I found out his smear campaign started as soon as I married him. His mother was bi-P and schizophrenic, in and out of homes his whole life. He started telling everyone from the beginning of the marriage…”I think I married my mother”……”Now I know what my dad went thru”….I’m very afraid of her”…..”I’m afraid to leave because of the kids”…..so many different versions. For 25 years….NO ONE TOLD ME……

        It’s destroyed my life, my relationship with both kids and many others. I’ve never seen my only grandchild due to his lies. He told me that the day he saw me hold my DD for the first time and saw what she meant to me was the day he decided I’d never have her. His manipulation goes back that far. It’s unbelievable what he’s done.

        A high level psychopath can flip the script on his victim and ruin a life. I’m living proof. Please know the person before you judge just because they aren’t in their children’s lives. I was tested for personality disorders at the same time he was. I was deemed ‘one of the sanest people I’ve ever met…your only problem is you’re married to him’ by the tester. I’ve passed all the tests with zero problems except damage done by the narc.

        One of my best friends was a missionary married to a minister. He did the same thing to her. He was finally arrested and sent to prison for molesting a child. Just now people are saying ….maybe it wasn’t her….

        We can’t win with their lies. We don’t need to be further damaged by people condemning us by some set of criteria that may have an entirely different cause.

          • no.

            we were told that 5 min after evaluating his tests that my name was put on a list that the police would check hospitals and morgues daily for my name the rest of my life and he would be picked up immediately if I was at either. the meeting went downhill from there. I cant tell the rest but it was progressively worse for the next hour. He can’t tell my grown kids due to hippa laws. I still have zero proof, but 2 detectives asked me a series of questions, said he WAS that bad, and taught me situational awareness and the laws in my state concerning how to handle it. I carry one if their cards with me e everywhere and I’m ri contact immediately if I spot him in the area

            on the way home from the meeting ex looked at me and said “quite frankly I’m getting afraid of you….I think I’m going to need a restraining order”. I was speechless. you can’t make this crap up.

            if I had known what would be said I’d have hidden a tape recorder, but who thinks like that? I had NO idea it would be anything like that.

            I’ve wished a 1000 times I’d raised that conversation and the where he confessed so much to me…but I was a wife wondering why he behaved like he did, believing him that it was my fault…I never saw either thing coming…

            …and people tell me to get on dating sites…ohhellno!!!

            • Then what are these mysterious tests that can detect a disordered person? Because my cheating ex is really good at mimicking a human. I wish there were one of those tests like in Bladerunner where they ask a few questions and observe changes in the subject’s pupils to determine if they’re a replicant. I MIGHT consider online dating if there was a site that vetted people through one of those. But probably not.

    • Another one for the end of the list: “roommates”

      As in, my spouse and I are living like roommates.

    • you had me at purdy mouth

      thanks!

      PS the problems I have had recently are

      1) that nagging feeling that X has “won” because he’s remarried and has more money. Like, on paper, he looks as if he won, I guess.

      And

      2) I detest the feeling I wasted my life, living with and giving someone – 35 years of my life. That is a long time although X managed to discard our entire lives & kids. In fact, his own father has not reached out to me OR his only grandchildren for 3 years!

      I mean, WTF??)

      So yeah, I may have been married to a disordered man from a disordered family and only when I was hospitalized in a stupor, did it all become, ironically, painfully, clear.

      Today I’m healthy enough to Not fear being alone – as much as I fear being with the wrong person,

      • Hey – Dr1stwife – if his father doesn’t want to see his grandkids then it sounds like a generational dysfunction – you can’t do anything about that – thankfully you are definitely a strong person

    • WhatsApp isn’t necessarily a red flag. It’s used in Europe a lot for legitimate reasons. So if you’re dating an import I wouldn’t worry about it.

      • Although what’s app is how I found out my sync was taking an expensive vacation with someone else – all other texts had been deleted

    • By all means add something like “above all appreciates honesty”, ‘ (wo)man of transparency and integrity’

      • Also, any claims that they’re “tired of mind games” and “want someone who won’t give them the runaround.”

        Found that on my ex’s dating profile after I left him and laughed my ass off. Their projection is crazy!

    • Another big one is drama. If they describe their ex as a drama queen or say they don’t want to deal with drama, it’s usually them who created the drama by being assholes. What they are looking for is somebody who will tolerate their behavior, and anyone who won’t is “too much drama”.

      • Yes to this. The first guy I dated post-divorce (he was from Michigan!) declared how much he hated drama and conflict. No, what he really hated were the consequences of the drama and conflict that he caused.

        He cheated on me very early in the relationship (and I’m sure after that) – his teenage daughter was the one to tell me a couple years after it happened. Things did not go well after that.

        Yet he made sure to tell me when we broke up that he ‘had never been on such an emotional rollercoaster before.’ Dude, you were the architect of that roller coaster.

  • “All people (unless they are sociopaths) want to bond with other people. We crave intimacy and connection. I do think we should all be open to connection with others.”

    I feel I must now be on my way to being a sociopath. Because of him. Because of how he treated us. I won’t because I’m decent and optimistic but it does worry me that I can’t trust so how can I love?It’s like he took his issues and dumped them all on me. Chumped and dumped! (No, I kicked his ass out…)
    Do folks maltreatment of others result in psychological issues? Yes.

  • I am at this point not interested in dating. I am not at all ready. My mother who is 85 never remarried after my Dad died when I was eight. She dated but never wanted to get married. I asked her why she never wanted to marry again. She said that she has no interested in marriage. She enjoys being single. She is not told what to do. She learned that she can live without a man and be happy. A man does not define you. Being happy and comfortable with yourself is what is most important. Yes, in the future I might entertain dating. But for now I am happy being cheater free.

    • I’m with her. I am dating a guy now and I am happy to continue doing so as long as he is but I like the fact that he goes home (or I go home) most nights and I have no interest in marriage. It is nice to have the occasion overnight but I am not interested in actually living with someone who I may not be able to please or who may not be able to please me.

  • I was chumped @ 59; 2 years ago. I could not imagine repartnering. No more dickheads; this is my time now. I refuse to be a nurse or a purse; or a quasi mother figure to another incompetent partner. I understand someone younger partnering again but for many of the older ones; it’s an absolute lottery of health wealth and mobility. I am really happy on my own.

    • Ozzie,
      That is exactly how I feel! “I refuse to be a nurse or a purse”. At my age, 67 that is about the only thing that will come my way so I don’t waste time with fantasies.

      • Yep I like em to go home too. I take care of my own car, cut my own grass and have no interest in scrubbing their skidmarks!

  • I’ve had the experience of being next twice to women meeting up with the guys they were texting on dating sites.

    I eat out alone and the couples were seated next to me both times. I don’t listen in on conversations but I heard both times saying to the effect of finally getting to meet them after all the texting.

    I intently listed to the questions the guys asked the women and one thing kept coming up. They wanted “demanded” to know if they would go off with them “to Europe” the second guy asked his date “if she would go to his mothers condo on the beach”.

    The thing I noticed is both these men demanded they answered them. The condo guy was begging her to spend thanksgiving with him. (2 months) in advance.

    One woman was a teacher and the men all love that and she was pretty. The second one traveled a lot. She drank water and was judging him and clipped her answers.

    The first man was older and looked to be well off. I was dining alone in expensive restaurant. He was going on how his wife died 7 years ago. Lots of other bs.

    The second guy was right handsome but came across as needy and dependent on dates to save face.

    I have no idea if either went out with the guys on a date but it was just gross to me these guys asking first and upfront on travel. They didn’t really have any talks it was just straight to the point and boring.

    So anyway I can see what a meet up date looks like. I haven’t been on a date yet. I need to lose some weight and just get out there. My biggest fear is having another loser jerk like my ex. He still gives me nightmares and daymares. Horrible memories of it all.

    If anybody knows of a good column to read for recovered from divorce and dating and life after please post it. It’s hard to find where good women are doing better after divorce. Not just dating. Just all over better.

    I want to start over my life this year and just forget all the horrible past. I want to enjoy being 59 with the right guy if that’s possible and make new good friends. Do things. Travel. Fix up. Fun!

    • It’s been almost 5 years divorced and coming up to six years since I found the text ex sent to neighbor on his birthday wanting a nude picture of her.

      Time to move forward.

      • Beetle,
        Read all the old CL columns about being mighty – there are many! Read forum posts going all the way back about post-cheater life.
        There are SO many success stories right here to give you an idea of what a truly happy, cheaterless life looks like, with or without partners.
        I personally went through hospitalizations and sheer hell after DDay. Will never forget the judge telling me that my then-husband was a sociopath and one of the worst she had seen in all her years on the bench. Now I am happy, healthy and at peace. I’ve dated and not dated.
        All the I nspiration you need is is right here on CL. There are years of posts to guide you!

        • That the judge told your ex he was a sociopath. Amazing! Yea you Rebecca – always appreciate your comments.

        • I have been reading them. I see the nice ones. I don’t want to quit reading chumplady but sometimes I think it traumatises me over in some spots.

          It has also made me scared of men. That the cast offs are so much like my ex.

          But I am lonesome but no way desperate. I think I’m just letting too much time slip away from fear.

          These are the good years if used wisely. I don’t want to be stuck married again but have a good boyfriend. Go on a fun date.

          • I hear you on feeling traumatized. Lately, I’ve been taking long breaks from Chump Lady and other abuse/infidelity support groups. I think there comes a point when we don’t need this anymore, and sticking around to reread and rehash the past does more harm than good.

            My experience, anyway. Other people’s mileage will certainly vary. But I do find it helpful to focus on my new life these days.

  • Just weighing in on this as a guy-Chump who quite possibly was removed from the reserve a couple of months ago. Still finding my way there.

    I live in a small village outside a major metro centre. Counting myself, there are 5 mature bachelors that I can think of without trying. One widower, two and possibly three chumped, and one guy who just has always lived alone two doors down from me. He’s rather shy but a really nice guy.

    I think though that part of it is that even for me, I really had no interest in re-coupling for some time after being chumped. I originally “thought” that I did but I was absolutely not ready and it’s good that the much younger single mother that I asked out changed her mind after initially saying yes. I’m 3 years out now.

    Another part of it too I think is that guys to have a tendency to date younger and prettier if they can. I certainly was looking in that direction and dated a very nice lady in her mid-40s for a while last fall. She wasn’t ready to date though it got pretty obvious quickly.

    But last summer I was flirting with a nice lady in the paint aisle (not the produce aisle – that one was married) and we somewhat hit it off but I left not to be seen again until I enabled my POF profile and she saw me there.

    She’s 57 to my 55, has boobs that sag because 4 kids and gravity are a thing and has a kind and caring heart.

    But those other bachelors are still out there generally just living their lives happily and quietly.

    BT

    • Really, I think men (and women too) usually do better when they stick to partners within a few years of them in age. Your own generation is just more likely to “get” you. The same goes for women. The trick is to find people your own age who are as active as you are and have whatever level of libido you need (and can handle).

      Sadly, my ex left for a women his own age. She is still messed up, but the karma bus may be delayed. If she were younger I doubt they would still be together now.

  • One thing I’ve learned from working with a lot of elderly people: the ones who are happy have a few things in common. Most important of all is adaptability.

    If you think there is such a thing as a perfect soul mate or one and only one true love, you will be unhappy. Life is not a Disney movie. We are not divided into princesses and Prince Charmings.

    If you think there is only way path in life that is right for you, you will be unhappy. No one ever gets the exact life they wanted. If they did, they’d be bored.

    If you are rigid in how you define your worth (e.g., a job/money/spouse/kids), you will be unhappy. How you define your worth should be something that evolves as you age and your circumstances change. Sometimes, survival is enough.

    If you define your worth by external metrics such as money or by social approval, you will be unhappy. Those games are rigged and the rules and goals change the minute too many people accomplish the goal. What value is a Fendi purse to a NYC socialite if Deb from Omaha can have one too? So, on to the next way of showing superiority.

    If you think that God has sent you one path and only one path and you have no control over it, you will be unhappy. Whatever your beliefs, humans have free will for a reason. Use it.

    If you think you are too old, too introverted, or too scarred to change and make your life better, you will be unhappy. Some of the happiest people I’ve met were Holocaust victims who had everything taken from them. Everything but their lives. They kept going.

    If you think you have to be perfect to be happy, you will be unhappy. Self-forgiveness is as important as self-reflection and self-improvement. Realizing you are human and that “good enough” is truly good enough is liberating.

    If you think that what others think of you is critically important, you will be unhappy. Individual humans can be sane, rational people. In a group, even a small one, we behavior illogically. Value the opinions of friends and family members who are allies. Ignore the rest.

    If you think you have to be on a hunt to find the right partner in the right place, you will be unhappy. You have to make yourself available and work on yourself. But being on an active hunt can often hurt you.

    If you have a very set idea on what a partner should look like, you will be unhappy. The happiest couples I know ended up marrying someone who wasn’t what they thought they wanted on paper in terms of ethnicity, looks, height, job, etc. But the core of the person, beliefs and behaviors, were excellent.

    I’d also recommend joining a social or charitable organization. If you are looking for quality men, volunteering at a museum, hospital, etc. can help you meet new people you otherwise wouldn’t come in contact with. Ask yourself: What type of man do I want? Where is he likely to be? That may be a tractor pull or a gallery opening. Doesn’t matter. But simply being out in public in places where you can talk to people will make a world of difference.

    Also, you are likely to meet the right kind of dudes at places where they have to roll up their sleeves and do actual work without accolades. Volunteering at an institution where men just write out checks is different than one where everyone has to show up at 5 am on a Saturday to build a house for someone.

    • You just described all of the reasons why my ex isn’t happy. I will admit that in many ways I am “ex light” but I do at least know how to count my blessings and be grateful for the many I have even if, as Tracy says, I didn’t get them all.

      My biggest problem is when I keep striving to be perfect because I fear I am not worthy of the blessings I do have. When people praise me I feel like a fraud. How screwed up is that? I am working on doing a better job of recognizing my self worth. My goal is to strive for improvement while accepting that I am imperfect and that’s ok. I long ago learned to accept imperfection in others and love around it.

      • I get it. I struggle with wanting to be a perfectionist. It’s at my core.

        I have learned there is true beauty in imperfection. The Japanese have a concept wabi-sabi, which addresses this. Reading a bit about it might help.

        Try forcing yourself to accept “good enough” on low stakes matters, then move on to other areas.

        Also, part of being a perfectionist can be about the illusion of control. Self- improvement and holding oneself to high standards is good. Perfectionism and controlling behavior is not. Even if it is extreme self-controlling behavior. The line is not always easy.

        Jedi hugs.

    • Your post is one of the best I have read on here. I never had a check list. High standards. Looks did not matter to me (just that I would be attractive to them and them to me). I never thought about dating a black woman. Not prejudice in the least. But I saw her inner qualities and that is what attracted me to her. She is a chump also. She never was attracted to a white man, but saw my inner qualities. We were flexible in our expectations. She is not perfect, but perfect for me. Life is full of compromises. I would have never dated a woman younger then me and she is 8 years younger and I didn’t hold that against her (I have only dated women my age or older). I went outside my box to find a good partner. We will be getting married later this year.

    • My ex cheater narc recently started delivering Meals on Wheels. I’m sure he’s doing it to make himself look good and possibly feel better about himself. Like, hey, doing this good deed for these folks will make up for all the shitty things I did to my partner and blowing up our 21 year marriage.

  • I will open with the fact that I have some dear friends who found lasting love post-chumped with men they met through online dating so I know it is possible. Some of those friends were even 50+ years old at the time. It just doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried numerous dating sites off and on over the past 3 years and I’ve hated every minute of it. I’m an geeky, book nerdy introvert with five large, uncouth dogs running around my house. For some reason, men don’t seem to find that appealing and I am just not good at trying to market myself to my obviously very tiny niche pool of men. The key to online dating, particularly in the over 50 category, is apparently lots of patience and the willingness to wade through a ton of frogs to find that one prince. Have you seen the pictures on the internet of the poisonous frogs invading a town in Florida? Like that. It’s like wading through that. I’m just too tired to put that much effort into it. So I finally decided to delete all my dating profiles and enjoy my life as it is. If the Universe decides to drop a good man across my path (please set him down GENTLY, Universe) I will welcome his presence in my life. In the meantime, I’ll be over here trying to keep my dogs out of the mud pit my backyard has become during a remodel on my house, and planning my garden. 😀

    • The right man would love your book nerdy introverted self along with the uncouth dogs. But maybe you do what I do and keep your house your own space.

      Actual dating can be fun if you go out with people you like. Throw the ones that don’t fit back in the pool.

      • Yes, keep your own space. I found someone and we both continue to inhabit our own homes. Neither of us “has” to be the center of the universe so it works that we can function alone and be happy even though we truly enjoy each others company.

      • Oh yes, I agree. My space is my own and always will be. I would like to have a companion but a roommate? Nah, I’m good. I adore being autonomous after 30 some years with a control freak.

  • I met mine at Match.com, but I was just lucky. I’m 60, and men my age were generally looking for women in the 35-45 range. I knew I wanted a youthful man, so that even lessened my odds. But I had made up my mind I wouldn’t settle, and I would be happy with my new life whether alone or paired. I made plans for my new house, my hobbies, my interests, new friends and possibly a job. As I say though, I was fortunate and found the best man on the planet. I wish everyone the same luck.

    • Yeah, whenever I see those 60 something men who only want to date in the 35-40 range I can’t help but think “unless you are filthy rich and on death’s door, what on earth makes you think those women are going to want you?” It makes those men sound entitled which will make them seem even less enticing to anyone with the semblance of a good picker. If they don’t specify a desired age range they might get lucky if they are youthful enough but they shouldn’t just expect it. The good news is that it keeps the entitled creeps out of the dating pool for mature women looking for good men (real men, to entitled man babies). Sheesh.

      On the flip side, I would love to see how many hits women actively seeking younger men get and are they all just looking to score a cougar for a few nights or are any of them actually decent men?

    • I’m in my mid 40’s … no offense, but why would I date 60+ man?
      If someone in his 60’s looks for a 🏆 wife or a much younger gf 😞there is an issue there…
      Normal, kind, loving, funny man, secure in their skin have absolutely no issues with sagging boobs or wrinkled skin… they see more, than an outside….

      • When I entered the online dating pool there were a lot of men between 15 to 20 years older than me that got in touch. I was a little mystified at first that they believed we would have all that much in common as we were in completely different stages of life – I was last gasp planning to try for a baby and many of them had grown children. But I worked out quickly that these sort of men were generally (no offense to those who have a preference for a younger partner) not good prospects. Reading their profiles was often like reading a laundry list of disorder where it really was all about them and what they felt they were entitled to. I avoided them like the plague by then turning my profile to private and approaching men via the value of their profiles.

        Being honest in my profile got me the best results. I didn’t mind scaring off the players and getting fewer responses because I got much better quality responses. In the end my online profile is how the guy who vaguely knew me but liked me in real life knew that I was available and ready to date.

    • I read an article that quoted the folks at OKCupid; they said that men who are around age 50 on their site are looking for women whose average age is 28.

      This is why the 60-year-old guys might be successful in getting those 35-40 year old women. I don’t want to date a guy that much older than I am (44), but guys my age are apparently looking for women almost half their age. I can’t imagine dating a guy that young; I would feel like I were his mother. *yuck*

      This is part of why I don’t date. I feel as though there are too many people out there who are too focused on youth and beauty instead of more important, enduring qualities.

  • I almost spit out my coffee this morning reading this letter…. I met both my cheaters in a grocery store! I was working in the local grocery store while at school and cheater number one worked there too! Cheater number two actually ask me out while I was shopping in a grocery store years later! I actually keep my eyes down looking at my cart now when I shop, I am terrified someone will talk to me…. LOL

    I am 4 years past D-day and 3 years divorce and actually only felt the urge to date right at the beginning. I would love to have a good man to share in the adventures of this next chapter in my life, but I am working to make it not necessary as I launch my two college age sons. I am enough right now.

  • Here’s my theory on why there seem to be so few available good single people — men and women both — over a certain age. It may not be comforting, but it may help people be more diligent.
    In Western countries, there are oodles and oodles of single people in their late teens and early 20’s, good and bad alike. Very few of us get taken off the market that young, but that changes as we get older.
    Everyone who is single over a certain age — let’s say early 32 or so — has a story as to why. Even the ahem, less-attractive people tend to find somebody to have a long-term relationship with by their late 20’s or so. So, single people beyond that point are either the few that missed out, or somebody who re-entered the market.
    Let’s start with the retreads. Almost all marriages & LTR’s that end do so because one person (or both) has some deep-seated problems. Nice, decent people who can tolerate others don’t end commitments just on a whim. That means that drug addicts, cheaters, criminals, and other people with bad character are highly likely to be either dump someone else, or be dumped, because of their bad morals. You can add people with bad emotional or mental health issues to that, as well as people who are just spoiled/entitled/obnoxious. So, all these jerks and bad apples will make up a disproportionate part of the singles pool of people over 32. Think of it this way: even if all of us chumps are good and decent people, for every one of us that is now single, there is a cheating lout out there, as well.
    Now, consider those people that have never been married. I hate to say this, but in my experience, they’re even more likely to be bad apples. There is a darn good reason why no one else has chosen to make a commitment to them, and it isn’t what they look like. For example, I went out with one of the most beautiful women in her 30’s I’ve ever known, and she had never been married. I kept wondering why no one else had put a ring on her. It turned out she had worked in organized crime in her 20’s, and though she had chosen to live a better life, she was still paranoid and distrustful of everyone after years of being surrounded by the worst people possible. I know a guy who is almost 40 who has been described by an ex-gf as “a 9 out of 10” physically, but he’s a disaster otherwise. Besides “instantly falling in love” with any woman that talks to him, having no job, living with his parents, refusing to leave the house for days, and constantly making inappropriate remarks to women, he’s just weird and unstable. He’s never been married. And yet, there are women lined up to date him.
    My usual saying to people who are newly single at 35+ is:
    “Everyone who’s over the age of 35 and single was either married to a jackass, or IS a jackass. You have to find out which.”

    My point is that there really ARE more bad apples in the dating pool after you hit middle age. It’s just the way it is. So, instead of giving up, just be more careful with who you get involved with. It’s just not as safe as it was when you were 22.
    On a positive note, for every now-single cheater that is now prowling the dating apps, there is another chump like you, waiting to find someone with a good soul.

    • It’s a matter of perspective, for every cheater there is a chump who is loyal with good character

      My experience has been very pleasant

    • I might also point out that we are the ones who aren’t bad apples so that may give us an edge over the ones that are, at least for those who have good pickers.

      • On more of a downer note, that is probably why so many married people cheat with other married people when they decide they are no longer happy with their spouses. They know the singles dating pool is not well stocked so they want to secure new supply before leaving the marriage to hedge their bets. They go after other married people reasoning that if they are married they must be marriage material and would make good partners. The joke is no them, however, because anyone who cheats or is a partner to a cheater is clearly selfish, self-serving, dishonest, and lacking in empathy at best and likely has other issues to boot. It turns out there are a lot of screw ups in the married pool as well.

        • Errr … no. Most date married partners only because they believe that their married partner won’t leave the spouse so they’re believed to be safe and uncomplicated lay. After all, only 10% of people will divorce for their AP (not counting those who are divorced by their spouses when a spouse finds out about the affair).

          Statistics also show that surprising number of people get married after they’re 60. So there’re plenty of potential partners around.

          I personally have great understanding what kind of type of person I usually go for and what kind of red flags to look for. I can spot a shitty man in an instant now. Unfortunately, I keep meeting shitty men as potential partners even though I’ve got many amazing male friends, or the men I meet are just unsuitable (mostly too young for me) or they’re great but not interested in me. But I also quite like being single and I think Tracy is right, meeting the right person is a blessing not given to everybody.

        • This was definitely my XW’s approach. I’m sure she was aware of the shallow pool of single men in our age bracket, so she pried a younger man out of his marriage before pulling the trigger on ours. It makes a lot of sense, assuming you don’t have any moral qualms about mate-poaching.

    • I just turned 49 and have never been married and definitely don’t consider myself one of the “bad apples”.

      In my 20s and 30s, I was focused on my career. I wasn’t opposed to finding love, and I dated a handful of people, but I didn’t make finding a partner a priority.

      When I was 39, I thought I had found a good man. We dated, got engaged, but never married because something wasn’t feeling right and I was waiting for him to pull his own weight before I’d start talking wedding plans. Then came Dday and I immediately kicked him to the curb. Nine years wasted 🙁

      I understand my role in putting up with the financial and emotional abuse I allowed him to dole out to me. I’m working on this and in the mean time, I’m happy being single again.

      • True, Never married doesn’t mean never had a long term relationship. It also doesn’t mean that nobody wanted to marry them or that they were too picky, just smart enough not to make poor choices because society says you have to be married.

      • Sisu,
        The full version of my theory is that “everyone who is single over 35 was either in a long-term relationship with/married to a jackass, or IS a jackass.” 🙂 . I shortened “in an LTR” here to “being married” for the sake of simplicity. I know plenty of women who have been in a LTR with some guy for several years that wouldn’t ever give them a ring. So, I would say you were “in a LTR with a jackass,” you’re NOT the jackass :).

    • You make a good point about divorced people having issues. But let’s put that in perspective. In lots of ways, I was a catch. But my marital history was and is a huge red flag, marked with bad judgments and trauma that in many ways I caused for myself. In that sense, I think I would be a bad risk for nearly everyone, including myself. That’s one reason why I won’t remarry or cohabit with anyone, no matter how great. I’m 67 and not interested in doing that kind of building with another person or taking the risk of hurting anyone.

      On the other hand, if I were 45 or even 50, with my newly fixed picker and my current state of happiness on my own, I’d be open to thinking about “dating with purpose.” But I would be cautious because I know that it’s a very small pool of people I could consider.

    • Just in defense of the non-married middle thirties type: There is a very attractive woman at work who hasn’t been married, but in/out of relationships. I’m not sure why she isn’t married. I know she’d REALLY like to be. I get the sense she would be a great partner, but her “equal” hasn’t arrived yet.

      I think she’d be a catch for the right guy.
      So, I think there are middle-aged-non-married-winners out there.
      but what do I know… i’m kinda new at this.

  • Red Flag. Just had a 72 year old guy – educated PhD, two homes – send me a bathroom selfie. Asked me to selfie him back. Said my pictures on Our Time are enough. I am 60. Ugh. It’s ugly out there. Propositioned by married men. Not sure I have the stomach for this.

    I am enough! For the most part I am very blessed and happy with my new life.

    But agree, a lot of disordered out there. If I had not done the work on myself, never would recognize this stuff.

    Onward.

      • Never even in a committed relationship would I ever send genital or boob pictures to anyone in any form nor would I want to receive them. Too dangerous. Only someone I am willing to be with intimately in person gets to see me naked (and that’s the only kind I want to see naked either).

        • Yep, the people who get to see me naked are those who have EARNED that right through doing the work to create a loving, intimate relationship.

        • Glad I took back the sexy Polaroids of me in my mid thirties when I knew I was going to dump a narc alcoholic back in the day. And there will no smartphones in the vicinity next time I get naked with a man.

    • A 72-yr old PhD sending a bathroom dick pic?! Wow. Just…wow. Not to mention, ewwwwww…

  • I have a lot to say about this as a decent law abiding single 59 year old man. I’ll start by asking the same exact question, where are all of the decent single women in my age range? Then I’ll answer by directing everyone to the best article I’ve ever read on how to find someone: https://www.chumplady.com/2019/01/how-do-i-fix-my-picker-2/ “how do I fix my picker” by the Chump Lady.

    This article led me to this site on a google search I did of the same phrase. I have a bad picker. I keep falling for the liars, cheaters, been cheated on so I don’t trust you “damsel in distress” women. Four times I got my hopes up since my divorce and four times I’ve been crushed. I thought a) there are no good women out there b) you can’t trust anyone and c) why is everyone the same.

    The majority of women I get attracted to are looking for “fun” and “men with an edge”. They married young, did not date much and by golly they are now in a position to have the time of their lives. Why do I keep attaching myself to these fuckwits? They lie, then they tell the truth, and then poof it is over.

    The first lady I met had an affair with a work buddy from another state. They arranged to be at the same conferences together for 2 years and they’d hook up. They agreed to get divorced to marry each other. Both had little kids at home. She asked for the divorce, her fuckbuddy chickened out and left her. I met her online, we had a drink, she cried alligator tears over her life and I’ll be damned if I didn’t fall for her. Next was the one whose husband traveled a lot. She was going to ask for a divorce but he was diagnosed with cancer and she felt obligated to stay. After he died she went wild. When we met I got the sob story part not the wild part or the “I’m in counseling now to figure out why I sleep with every man I go out with” part, until a few months into the relationship. The third person cheated on her first husband after they had a fight, married her partner, had kids and couldn’t take the ho-hum of “life reimagined” so she cheated on him, got caught and divorced. Then she just decided to fuck around but all of that was unknown to me for 8 months. All the time I thought she was busy and couldn’t see me she was actually online dating. The final straw for me was a woman who was dating a man who never told her he was going to play the field. He told the field though. When she found out his “80% number one” as he described her was devestated and could not find a way to trust anyone when I met her. To her credit she carved out a life for herself before she met me but after 2 months she admitted it was too difficult and, oh yeah, Mr. 80% texted her.

    So how do I fix my picker? I read the Chump Lady article over and over again. I read the things on this site, sometimes I write stupid comments, and I’m working on me. Because that picker article provided me with the best freaking advice I’ve gotten since my divorce. And since I pieced this all together I’ve become way more discerning and careful. There are a lot of fucked up stories by a lot of very well intentioned well meaning women out there – but that doesn’t mean I need to date them.

    PS
    all of the women I described above were well educated professional. I’ve had the hardest time reconciling that because you’d think they all lived in a trailer down by the river.

    • The thing that gets me is how many sane, well adjusted (with the exception of loving our cheaters), financially sound, hard working, and often physically attractive chumps, who many people would be happy to have in their lives, get dumped in favor of the screw ups. It makes no sense. I guess it really is best when the screw ups stay together and remain loyal to each other as it keeps at least a few of the screw ups out of the dating pool. Still, what is it that makes screw ups seem so attractive to so many people?

      • “What is it that makes screw-ups seem so attractive to so many people ?” Sparkles and drama.

    • Oh, RVA. I have learned, from bitter experience, that infidelity has NO boundaries when it comes to intelligence, degrees earned, wealth or lack-thereof. In fact, medical and other professional conferences appear to be favored venues for cheaters to hookup.

      Every guy I have ever been attracted to is highly intelligent. Every one of them is also a narcissitic fuckwit.

      I have learned this about myself. And there are two big take homes for me from the CL and CN, and I ask that you forgive the paraphrase and lack of authorship on the quotes: “When somebody shows you who they are, have the courtesy to believe them”, and “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior”.

      So if anybody every admits to cheating, for whatever reason, they are out of my pool of potential dates. And, at this point, I’m not looking to date at all. I need to be confident in my own ability to take care of myself.

    • I have one more thing to add. Never ever take advice on how to date from a married person! Ever. Married people, whether they cheat or not, have the luxury of flirting in the store or bar or restaurant and then pulling it all back when they want to at any time. I’ve recently encountered ringless women at my health club in the way too tight lulamond outfits strutting around like they were fly fishermen looking to hook someone or some thing. Married people think everyone is available for everyone and easy to get if “you’d just give them a chance.” Married people watch all of the bullshit romance comedies and can’t distinguish a quasi-rape scene (Bad Moms when the guy puts her on the kitchen counter at the end of the movie) from a romantic jaunt in the kitchen because the movie scene was “so funny and romantic and wouldn’t it be nice if someone did that to me?” Yep, actually overheard that comment. Finally, don’t trust the idea that if you know someone they might know someone single and can set you up. Chances are they know someone with a disaster story.

      What I’ve learned is to take care of yourself. Find your own happy. You don’t have to date until you are ready not when someone tells you you need to “put yourself out there” and creates an online profile for you. There is no magic sauce to any of this dating stuff.

      • Married people who flirt?? No, thank you. That smacks of “keeping my options open” and boundary pushing.

        Done.

      • Haha. I’ve been nagged by a married friend who thinks she has the keys to all happiness. I finally told her to fix me up then if she has all the answers and her response was that all the single men she knew who were age appropriate were “single for a reason” and weird.
        Bingo

      • I think that’s part of my dating issues (why I haven’t). Although he apparently didn’t think like a married person…I was MARRIED….

        I don’t know how to date, or flirt, and the thought of trying to look ‘sexy’, act like a ‘catch’, ect not only baffles me, but it’s just not me. I like to be myself in a natural setting. I want to talk, not flirt. I want to discuss intellectual things, not my sexuality. I want to go to a movie or an art gallery, or go canoeing, not a nightclub. I want to drink a glass of tea on the porch, not preen with a martini. Everyone who has given me dating advice has said i need to ‘up my game’ and its being someone I’m not. I drove to Florida in December just to sit in the sand and write poetry. I had a blast. I found a sea food shop and watched the sun set on the ocean with a beer. It was comfortable. I bought a lemon and a lime tree to plant on the way home and peach cider. I make hot chocolate when I’m cold….ok….I DO put whipped cream and sprinkles on it to make it pretty..I am an artist after all…it damn well HAS to be pretty….

        How do normal, in her 50s, gained a few pounds, wrinkles, and possibly an attitude from all the gaslighting and lies women date now? I’m normal. I’m everyday. I have an insane sense of humor (ask Tempest). I can think. I like cracker barrel. I like red lobster. I’m a seminary student and love to discuss the deeper things of that with a knowledge person who doesn’t have to be right or argue. I just a normal life.

        My ex used to say I should have been born in the little house on the prairie days. That’s me. I grow tomatoes. I grow herbs. I quilt and crochet. I HATE the thought of dating sites. A friend showed me hers….it looked like a Walmart for people….nope…I just can’t. I’m doomed.

        • Everything you just wrote put in a dating profile, there is a guy looking exactly for that. Women who can have deep intellectual conversations are very rare. Go somewhere where you meet similar men. Like bible study, Art nights, art shows, gardening clubs, etc….

          • Thank you. I dont do online dating. right now I work. I did join several meetups. a writing group that I enjoy very much, a hiking group, a cooking group, and I am the organizer for a narc abuse group. it helps. I go to theology confeferences to meet like-minded people often. Living in a new state alone us very challenging. I never learned many if the life skills. my FOO was very neglectful and 25 years married to him kept me stunted. I’m growing up daily. it’s a weird place to be in.

    • RVA…if your name means what I think it means, I live just north of you.

      My nowhusband was very picky and had actually stopped dating for 6 years when my father tracked him down and called “Are you single? Girlfriend? Do you remember my daughter? well her husband died and you should take her out”

      He wanted someone whose intellect and decorum matched his and he kept being introduced to the “down by the river” sort. Im now glad that he didnt find anyone sooner because Im glad I have him !!

    • RVA, here’s what I saw when I read your post.

      You write, “The majority of women I get attracted to are looking for ‘fun’ and ‘men with an edge’.”
      There’s your red flag, on two counts. First, that’s a mismatch. You don’t want that kind of fun and “edge” means “disordered.” So finish your coffee on the coffee date and say you are looking for kindness and stability. Wish that drama queen luck and walk away.

      Then there’s #2, Miss Promiscuity, giving you a “sob story” that covers up her fuckedupedness. Sob story—red flags. Lots of life debris that is nowhere near cleaned up. Plus manipulation. Plus she LEADS with her sob story so she’s looking for a chump to anchor to while she carries on otherwise. You want a woman who has her life in order. We can all work up a sob story; there are people here who have had massive trauma in their lives. And people like me who have been in therapy forever, peeling the onion layer by layer to build a life that’s sane and stable. But if I went on a date, there would be no “sob story.” I’ve put most of the pain to rest and am working hard on happiness and health. So if you hear a sob story, walk.

      #3? She’s too busy for 8 months? Not for you. Lose her number.

      The problem is you are attracted to these people. Are they beautiful, in a physical sense? Are they stacked? If you are attracted to their manipulative, sob story scenarios, then that means you shouldn’t be dating yet.

      My dating success started when I stopped thinking men had to have advanced degrees or runners’ bodies or cooking skills. Most people you meet will have lots of tough stuff in their lives–divorce, death, illness, troubled kids. That’s life. What you are looking for is someone who can handle what life brings, someone who is grown up. You want your picker set to inner beauty, maturity, capacity for happiness. Not a hot mess.

      • Anybody that leads with a sob story about their life is a manipulator. My weekly reads are this website as well as Donna Anderson @ Lovefraud who calls it the “pity play”. Preach sisters, preach. Applies to panhandlers, friends that need a payday loan (“Nope !”) and people looking to run a romantic con on others.

        Build a life that you’re content with, be self-supporting, know your worth and have a thick enough skin to be able to dump and be dumped if you’re out there dating.

  • My divorce was finalized 4 years ago. I wasn’t ready to date until last year. Last spring I actually met a man that I found attractive both physically and mentally. We had a great connection. Unfortunately, he had some narcissistic qualities and I had to break it off. It was a hard decision because I hated giving up a friendship where I felt such a strong connection (and the great sex). I realized that, for me, this was one reason I have been so lonely. For the past 30 years (I am in my 50s) my ex-husband filled the role as best friend. I have had a few close friends over the years but they have all moved away and are out living their best lives. I have decided that rather than settle for a man that doesn’t treat me with the respect I deserve just because I have a physical attraction to him and connect mentally (and I’m afraid of being alone); I can go out and find a connection with someone new and it doesn’t have to be a man.

    I’m missing the deep connection. I do miss the sex but I feel that I need to address my loneliness first. I just want a person in my life that will hang out at my house and be up for doing things on the spur of the moment. I need a best friend.

    I guess I should mention that I do have many friends but none of them fit that role of best friend. I’m missing the “connection”.

    I recently found a yoga class in my area that meets once a week. It is just for boomers and they have a social hour afterward. There are married and unmarried people in the group. So far, it has been a great option for me. I love doing yoga and it’s great to meet so many new people in my age group. I hope I am able to make a new best friend. I’m practicing doing what I enjoy with other people. Fingers crossed.

    • Yoga guys are hot. I’m dreaming of a tall left handed, glasses wearing one appearing in my class soon. 😉 Until then I will just keep turning up to various yoga classes in my town. No online for me, just dont have the time or energy to invest.
      A tall hottie joined the class recently and we hit it off, he is married☹️ (Should ask if he has a brother) but we have a chat and a laugh practicing next to each other.

  • You can only make yourself happy, a cliché, but clichés are often true.
    A relationship should improve your life, not make it worse.
    Not all men are the same, the same is true of women. I think you have more chance of finding love when your not expecting it.
    The problem is everyone is supposed to be equal, but men, are deemed to be superior to women, especially in some cultures, a neighbour actually said to me”any man is better than no man”.
    Makes you think doesn’t it.

  • So often on this board I read a nice entry from the smallish population of male chumps here and think,

    “Call me!”

    Which is not very appealing to those male chumps I am sure.

    I have noted elsewhere my dork status and nerdy-girl engineer-ness. I just retired early but am thinking about moving to a low key role in a large company I used to work for simply because there are social possibilities there. In my current company I have been everyone’s boss at some point or another and that doesn’t work for dating. At my former company there are a couple thousand folks and I would refuse a leadership position to keep that conflict away.

    Yes, I would like to partner again. I want to travel with someone and enjoy morning coffee and enjoy grandchildren with someone. Since the dumbass I married is off chasing his rainbows I have tried to figure out how to enjoy all those things completely alone, but I admit I still envision a partnered future. My daughters also lost their father when he poofed on us all and they would like to see me happy and have a decent person on that branch of their family tree to help balance their father’s complete stupidity.

    Sigh. I will do me in the meantime, but I am hopeful.

    • I’ve mentioned this before but I love to travel but don’t want to travel alone, so I go on Solos holidays. I’m in France but travel with British groups mainly – and it’s absolutely the right thing for me because we all laugh at the same stupid tv programmes or jokes. You can probably forget it if you are looking for a partner (they are 75% older widows for the most part) but I’ve seen a couple of hook-ups. In fact, in our group in Peru one man had met his lady friend 6 months previously on a solos trip to India – and he proposed to her when we were in the middle of Machu Picchu (she said yes). I’ve made good friends, male and female, in these groups and I get to travel (I got back from Sri Lanka 2 weeks ago). Actually I couldn’t see wanting to travel with “just” a partner now as I love the variety these trips bring. I don’t always do just solos trips though either as even regular groups always have a few solos on them. I just did trip number 13 since the Twat left and as I say, I love them! Just a thought!

  • I am the original poster of this email to Tracy.

    Please don’t hesitate to add your comments, impressions to the following update to this original question.
    First to set the background, I am now 60, have been divorced for 5 years, have a fabulous job, but not much mad money for luxuries. The house is mine from the divorce agreement. I am fit, active and look fine. I am doing well.

    These are my accumulated observations since the email was sent.

    Frank Pitman is absolutely correct in his assessments. ( book: Grow Up! ). Older women will miss the married state for some years but will get used to their single status and find their own happiness.

    Helen Fisher is absolutely correct in her assessments. ( Anatomy of Love ). The Life Mate bond will take about 4 years to dissolve and the process cannot be rushed in the vast majority of cases.

    As per living on your own:

    In my line of work, there are a vast number of strong independent women either married, never married or divorced. From my own tabulated observations ( and without exception whatsoever ), the advice to “enjoy your life as a strong, autonomous individual, take pleasure in the beauty of life, sunsets, bird singing” come from people who are paired with a mate. Not one of the strong, independent and single women I work with ever advised me of this. Ever. They know too well the heartache of waking up in an empty house, going to bed in an empty house, dealing with very sick adult children living abroad with no one to help ( truly as a mate will ) with the constant worries/fear for their well being. They know.

    However one learns to accept and enjoy one’s new state regardless of one’s circumstance. This is absolutely correct.

    I am not going to lie to you about the process though:

    You will be hit on by men to be sure. Much older men looking for someone to nurse them.
    You will be hit on by younger men looking for fancy free meals in restaurants and fancy holidays.
    You will be hit on by men your age looking for affairs.
    Online or real life.

    It’s an arduous road, not for the faint of heart. Society is contemptuous of single older women regardless of what is claimed in books, documentaries and newspaper articles. You’ll have to be tuff.

    Individual happiness will be there for you, absolutely. As exhilarating a life adventure as it is, in a sense it is akin to a fancy meal taken alone. It tastes very good, the surroundings are gorgeous, lots of people around you. But sitting on your own there is tuff.

    As lonely as it can be, it will be a thousand better than sharing with someone suffering from a personality disorder mind you. That too is very accurate

      • I’m 67, still a working professional. Single. I date a kind man. I enjoy living alone. I like watching the animals in the back yard and feeding the deer. I like taking photos of sunrises and sunsets and fog on the lake. I don’t miss having a mate living in my home, which houses me and a few interesting feline companions. Just for the record.

        • I’m with LAJ. While I’m occasionally lonely that is totally outweighed by the fact that I don’t have to put up with living with anyone else’s shit. I’m an expat in France and don’t have my larger family around either when I could maybe use their help, but I will NEVER live with someone again. Just like having a partner, being alone can have its down sides but I can count those down sides on one hand!

    • Well it certainly didn’t take me 4 years, sorry Helen Fisher, I think it took me about 4 months.

      Maybe I’m different. I found relief waking up in my own bed with no one beside me. I do miss my children when they are not here but I don’t miss having a constant “mate” in my life. I enjoy the down time, the alone time, the way my clean, quiet house feels when I am alone in it.

      I found a wonderful man to partner with and we are both recovering and growing into healthy people. We like to joke that we might get condos next door to each other or buy a duplex so we can maintain our own space and still see each other as we age and can’t drive as much. He’s a combat veteran who wakes up in the middle of the night and needs to be in a space all his own. I’m not sure after the abuse I suffered that I can ever share a space on a permanent basis with anyone I didn’t give birth to. I will always feel the need to be in control, to lock the door and find peace. We still find joy and have wonderful adventures together but not living together.

      and yes, society is contemptuous of older single women.
      I can’t wait to become one.

    • Very good post Meh is Fab. Honest and I feel the same. Me, married 21 years, single for 29 years and 65 years old. I can add one more thought to your well written advice. The time to find a mate is when we are young. The whole pressure to have a second chance is too unrealistic. I am not saying it is impossible, but chances are older women are not going to find a great guy. We really have no choice, actually but to accept that and try to be happy as possible. Why do people think it is so important? Yes, would be nice, but we had our chance and a lot of us stayed in it while we were young.

      • Isabel, you are absolutely correct, to be sure…

        Once again, from my own tabulation, of all these very very clever, active, strong women over 60 I daily have contact in my line of work ( many actually ), only two found another unattached mate. Both model-like, strikingly gorgeous women looking exceptionally young for their age. No coincidence.

        Let’s not waste anyone’s breath over the unfairness, unjustness of it all. This is the current way of our world. You, me and countless of other smart and savvy women have learned to make the best of our life regardless of society’s expectations and from this personal growth has been achieved, absolutely. But this phoenix baby did not rise out of choice, you are dead on solid on this, Isabel.

  • Just start doing more of the things you like. That’s the best way to meet someone you have things in common with. Start new hobbies too, you might find other things you enjoy doing. Join a gym, go hiking, play tennis. The more exercise the more endorphins it releases and the happier you are. Happiness is attractive. Don’t think about it too much, just go live your life.

  • I’m fine tuning my picker. I’m a therapist so tend to over analyze myself.

    1. dated too soon after divorce. Met a lot of men, one nice guy who I scared by over sharing and not being comfortable with myself.
    2. tried the ‘casual thing’. Felt that I had violated myself, did not value myself, my body or my space. Not worth it. I know for some, casual relationships work, for me, a bad idea.
    3. dated a ‘nice guy’ for two month. Glossed over the love bombing. Had a great time with him, then shit got real and his controlling ways came out. Biggest red flags: ” next summer, you wont travel so much with your kids because you will have me” and “In a year I’ll ask you to marry me” and “why did you buy furniture for your house without talking to me”. This was six weeks in, red flags waving high! Humm….nope, out of here.
    4. one guy who was nice, kind. We just didn’t mesh
    5. one guy who was subtly controlling, and only looking for sex. He ghosted me.
    6. one guy I met at a bar. Decent at first and much like guy number 3, the pot started to heat up. He was like relationship whiplash. One weekend saying he is “dating other because I’m only available every other weekend”. Two weeks later he’s looking for intimacy and “I’m his ‘dream girl” but I have to “understand that he’s not an every other weekend type of guy” at the same time, he wanted me to meet his adult kids (4 weeks in) and then the spur of the moment, 8pm texting begins about can I go meet him at the bar because he’s done with work for the day and wants someone to hang out with and he seems miffed when I say I’m in for the night. And the drinking, constant drinking, name dropping, place dropping, money dropping and did I say drinking?

    So, right now, I’m an every other weekend gal, at least until I feel that there is long term potential. My son comes first, I’ve only got three more years with him and I intend to enjoy every moment. But the trend is I attract men who like my hard won independence and can do attitude about life but then slowly want me to give it up to make them my priority which is the opposite of what they liked about me in the first place, it’s a underground narrative that I see, a recurring pattern. What I’m looking for is an equal match, a partnership. I can’t do another ‘top down’ relationship.

    • Your #3 “nice guy” made me laugh, because my first relationship after divorce was so similar. Among other things, this happened: I was looking to buy a new house for myself and my kids, and he kept insisting on telling me he does not like 2-story houses. I was ghosted not too long after telling him in no uncertain terms that it didn’t matter what he liked because he wouldn’t be living there.

    • Drinking is such a red flag. And lots of people hide it by excusing it as “social” or “relaxing after a hard day.” The man I date likes beer, but he’s never drunk, ever, and I’ve never seen a sign of that “had enough that the inhibitions are gone” state. But hanging out in bars? No and no and no.

  • I am now remarried but dated in my 40s a few years ago after a 16 year marriage to a disordered cheater. A few years ago, I was one of these mythical men since I was single, still have all of my teeth and hair, have never been to jail, have a Masters and a great job, love animals, was chumped and most people consider me a nice person.

    Therefore, let’s pretend that we were having a cup of coffee and you asked me for advice so this is what I would tell you:

    Fix your picker !!! Most of us have been through a very traumatic experience and need time and often therapy to get through it. I’ll be honest and admit that I dated before I really should have.

    Be honest about yourself and who you are looking for —you are no longer 20 and neither are the men. I can’t count how many women on dating apps who are middle aged moms who basically want Brad Pitt — a gorgeous wealthy guy who likes puppies, kids and walks on the beach. As I told a woman I was chatting with — so does EVERY woman–that’s a unicorn but you have to ask “what are YOU bringing to the table” ?? WHO was Brad Pitt with — Angelina Jolie who is beautiful successful and as rich as he is.
    My point is just be honest–if you are chubby a chubby guy might be a good fit for you. If you are really into fitness and in good shape then maybe a guy who is into the same thing would be a good fit.

    Relationships can be for a reason, season or a lifetime and that is OK. Sometimes a non serious “lot of laughs and good times” relationship is just what you need and that is OK if you are honest with who you are dating that that is all you want. After awhile though these fizzle out– after you’ve had fun and the sexy times cool then if the relationship can’t progress it fizzles out. The next kind though is for a season. I met a really nice lady who I dated for 18 months. We both had feelings for each other, cared about each other, spent a ton of time together but in the end realized that we didn’t love each other and for various reasons marriage wouldn’t work. We gave each other a hug and went our separate ways and both of us have nothing but good memories and the relationship benefited us both.
    The final relationship type is for a lifetime and that I have with my wife. I will be honest and have never experienced what I have with her before. When we met there was attraction but it was like we had known each other all of our lives. We started talking and the next thing we knew the restaurant was closing. We went for a breakfast date the next morning that lasted until 2am and we were talking most of that time. From our first meeting we just clicked and enjoy being together, I’ve said that if she had been born a guy then she would be my best friend. We have a lot in common but some differences (politics is a big one) but we “agree to disagree” on those things. The biggest thing though is that we do agree on what we value– our marriage, our families, friends, doing the right thing always, honesty and our plans for our future.

    All of us have been burned and absolutely be on the lookout for red flags in a relationship and set your boundaries as to what you will and won’t tolerate. My one suggestion though is to not be hypersensitive especially about things out of the person you are dating’s control.
    For example, several people have said that if a guy isn’t really close to his kids then he is no good. Generally you are probably correct but if he is a great guy besides that then really delve into the WHY. In my case I have an evil Ex who has done everything she can to wreck my relationship with my kids (who lived with her). Still I do talk to them, our conversations are pleasant and I do see them as much as I am able. Sadly though due to the Ex we aren’t that close which should be a red flag but upon investigation is not.

    Finally, live your life to the fullest and make yourself happy !! No one can make you happy but you. Other people can enhance your happiness but only YOU can make yourself happy. One big thing with my wife and I was that we both had full lives when we were both single after our divorces and were happy while being alone. That’s a big thing because NO ONE and NO THING can make you happy– just you. Make yourself happy by living your life fully — get out, meet people, do things that you love and are passionate about and if you do you’ll make yourself happy and guess what ??
    Study after study has shown that you being happy is extremely attractive to other people and the odds are massively greater that you will meet the person you have been dreaming of.

    Good Luck !!

    • Hey LG, I always enjoy your posts! Re: “Be honest about yourself and who you are looking for —you are no longer 20 and neither are the men. I can’t count how many women on dating apps who are middle aged moms who basically want Brad Pitt — a gorgeous wealthy guy who likes puppies, kids and walks on the beach.” One of the things that struck me when I re-entered the dating pool was that I had No. Idea. what sort of man I was physically attracted to since I was with my ex literally all of my adulthood. While I was with my ex, I wasn’t looking so I had never really considered what sort of man turned me on. Through my very brief dating experience I discovered that I’m not attracted to thin, runner-type physiques but I am attracted to tall, chunky, bald men with facial hair. Go figure. 🙂 Now I just have to find me a tall, chunky bald man with a beard who digs nerdy, introverted, chunky, book geeks with too many dogs. Shouldn’t be too hard. Hahaha. And of course, what really matters the most to me and I suppose, most of us chumps, is character. No Brad Pitt type is going to satisfy my desire for a partner unless he possesses much more character and a greater depth of caring than I suspect Brad can offer. Plus Brad’s not chunky enough for me. 😀

      • Beth, my wife is nerdy, introverted, chunky, a serious book geek (she is in heaven in a used book store and I turned a room in our house into her library) and she has a spoiled dog that I spoil rotten now too. She found someone and so can you !!
        There are guys just like that out there but to find them you need to go to where they might be.

        Some of our closest friends my wife has met at a womens only book club that she started attending. All of them are very smart, very well educated, “nerdy” women and so are their husbands and since “birds of a feather flock together”, we get along wonderfully. Several of the ladies in the group met their boyfriends/husbands by being set up by other ladies in the group. “You’d be perfect for my brother, cousin, friend at work”, etc

        If you could get involved with a book club or dog rescue, you will have fun because you love both things and either might meet someone or get introduced from a woman who gets to know you. I wish you the greatest luck !!

        • Thanks LG! You give me hope that there are other quality men out there who would appreciate a book geek in their life. I love your optimism almost as much as I love your posts.

    • I am married again, too, and everything you said is 100% correct. My sweet husband has the *true* same issues with his ex, and kid-brainwashing. It is a REAL thing. My husbands relationships with his kids are challenged to say the least, but people who are in the KNOW understand the how and the why of it. Don’t get gaslighted, but you may need to stick around a bit longer and investigate these types situations. When the head of his kids’ school is willing to testify for a Dad, you know that something is amiss. When people have disordered spouses the disorder can trickle down to the kids. That can be the most challenging part.

  • Sounds like CL could add a Personals section to the website. Seems like some of the best people to meet are right here, sort of a pre-screened group. Although there does seem to be significantly less men than women here? Maybe it’s just my perception.

    • I think Tracy posted that about half her readers are men but only about 10% of readers who post comments are male, so they’re paying attention but keeping quiet.

  • Stellar advice as always!!

    So, I am currently reading this ten minutes away from Ferndale, Michigan. Lol. If you happen to be local, I would love to meet you because I could use a few snarky girlfriends who get it. If not, I find it hilarious that you happened to pick the city that is least likely to be filled with straight men watching basketball in all of Michigan. Maybe you knew that and it was part of the joke? Either way it cracked me up. Thank you for the laughs and incredible insight as always.

    • Look in the forums. I bet that there is a Chump Nation meet up group very close to you already. There is a section for groups, and lots of states have them now. If not, start one yourself, and let everyone know in the forums that you have made a group for your fellow chumps. It will be the best thing you have done in years 🙂

  • I was married for 15 years, separated for 7 and am now divorced for 2. My kids are 21 and 18 and pretty much self sufficient. I live with my mom who has dimentia, but fortunately she doesn’t need to be tended to all the time. I decided earlier this year that now is the time to start looking for someone. Not that I need someone, but I’m not getting any younger and I would really enjoy the company.

    I went on a pub crawl this past weekend with a bunch of friends hoping maybe I’d meet some new people. I’m going out more just to circulate. Who did I meet this weekend? My ex. He seemed to show up every where I went. We’re no contact so I ignored him. I did however accept the drink that he sent to my table of friends. As my friend said “free beer is free beer.” We move onto another pub. Who did I run into? The guy I dated for three years before I met my ex almost thirty years ago. Good to see him, got caught up, had a lot of laughs and a few drinks.

    Woke up the next morning with a slight hangover, but I knew for sure that one thing I need to correct is my picker. Seems I was only attracted to those that needed to be fixed. The next relationship will definitely have to be an equal partnership! Live and learn.

  • I spent too many years basing my happiness on the pulse of a serial cheater and liar. Never again.

    I am now trying to live each day finding joy in what I have. That starts with gratitude. My goal is to be happy on my own. If down the line, someone comes into my life…okay. But it is not a requirement to my happiness.

  • A) There IS a single available man shortage. Believe it. I have done the legwork.

    Could it be that women will limp along with absolute critters until conditions hit catastrophic? Yes.

    So, the men in our dating pool ( over 40) are the ones that no one wants, or they choose to be single.

    The odds aren’t good and the goods are odd.

    And the baggage- oy vey. The sacred tone with which he discusses his 22 year old whore daughter who doesn’t work and gives you the stink eye.

    His penchant for leaving crusty dishes in the sink for weeks.

    What’s the solution? You have to dramatically recalibrate your expectations. Not to be abused.

    But- there’s no clean sheet of paper. It not fresh first day of school. Little quirks that before we would have said Next!!!- stop and pause.

    Is his mother- his cloying smug repellent mother- a deal breaker? Maybe not. Maybe you just smile and nod and pop a Xanax.

    B) You do feel like shit without a partner.

    Humans are pack animals. I am rolling into Year Three of checking out groceries alone on a Friday night. It sucks epically.

    I have fought back tears in the bread aisle- so lonely my teeth ache. It’s sad.
    Don’t shrug it off.

    Are there moments of contentment without a partner? Sure. But it’s normal and biological to crave another human around your camp fire.

    C). You need to go places where there are people who share your values. If I went to a trophy hunting convention, I would be arrested for a violent assault. That’s NOT my tribe.

    Meet ups. Volunteer work for a cause you hold dear. College / enrichment class. Churches and the like.

    Don’t be too eager. Yes that’s old fashioned but it’s real.

    Online dating- with extreme caution. Be Scarface’s ruthless. One dick pick/ pussy shot for same sex partner-

    Buh bye.

    It’s not a livestock auction. Cross check and vet their social media. Move the relationship into the actual world ASAP for coffee in a well lighted safe locale.

    If someone balks at leaving the cyber world- BLOCK.

    It’s bleak. I can’t lie. That’s why we cling…. and keep eating those shit sandwiches.

    Buy an expensive vibrator and spend a lot of time with sweet people who are affectionate. Get massages every week- charge them if need be.

    That touching keeps depression from busting down the door.

    • Alaska, where the odds of meeting a lot of single men are good but the goods are odd !

  • I’m curious to know more about what the veteran chumps (and others) have to share about actions around picker-fixing.
    One thing I’ve noticed- boundaries and saying “no” has become a helpful balancing force in daily life- all arenas (work, parenting, online dating, friendships). No works. It’s a great screener for bs- those who respect the “no”, and those who attempt to game it.
    Respect to the “no”.

    • I completely agree about the “no”. The last guy I messaged with on a dating site asked me for my phone number about two messages into the conversation. I explained that I don’t like talking on the phone so I would prefer to stick to messaging for the time being. He would not take that “no” (actually a very polite ‘no thank you’) so I stopped messaging him. In the dating realm I learned to pay attention to whether a guy is listening or just talking. If a man is not as interested in listening to what I have to say as he is in talking while I listen, I am out. I want a conversation not a lecture, lol. That’s a big warning sign of narcissism for me – when his life is VERY interesting to him and my life is not. I mean, my life isn’t all that exciting but showing interest in getting to know who I am is a pretty basic requirement.

      • If it’s not work related, I will give people about ten minutes to talk about themselves. If I try to interject something, you know have a conversation, and they don’t pick up on it, it’s time to go.

  • Im 33 with a 1 year old and a 6 year old. d day was about 6 months ago but I have already noticed myself looking at other guys now when I previously never looked when in a relationship. I dont know how I would find time for another person with 2 young children though so Im hoping it will happen like most things….when I stop looking and it will find me instead

  • Here’s my story and so far (3 years in – 1 year of cohabitation) it is a happy 3rd Act: first DDay with teenage-marriage #1 was in 1987- divorced his lying cheating ass forthwith and got Mighty graduating with my BA and applying to law school where I got in with a scholarship and embarked on a very successful career. Met H#2 at lawschool. 3 more kids and 25 years of what I thought was a functional-mostly awesome married family life. DDay #1 with X#2 totally blindsided me. I was gobsmacked. After 18 weeks of false wreconciliation I said GTFO! I started working on my Mighty immediately. I changed up my fitness classes at the YMCA and started going to bootcamp-HIIT classes at night instead of the stay-at-home mom morning classes. I met my BF there. He was in the midst of a terrible divorce with an alcoholic wife. We became running and hiking friends and commiserated. Finally a first kiss (for both of us a non-marital kiss since the early 1990s!!!!). Another couple years of dating and taking it slow while we settled into post-long-term married life in our 50s. A year ago we and our two remaining teens at home all decided we wanted to rent a dream home and live together. It’s been mostly great.

  • I’m not really looking, I’m pretty happy just to be cheater free and able to spend my time and money as I please at this point. For example this weekend I’m taking my son to a wood working workshop one day and attending the Russian Balalaika Symphony the other. I get wistful for some romantic companionship at times but I really don’t expect to find a single, emotionally healthy guy that wasn’t to date a 50+ single mom of a special needs child. Seems a bit like hunting for a specific color of unicorn to twist one of CL’s metaphors. But what I HAVE is totally worth anything I’ve given up to have it. Life’s about appreciating what you’ve got.

  • I think the best way to attract the right sort of person is to take the time to make your life exactly what you want it to be. For me, that took some time, and during that time I had no interest in dating. I spent time with friends and family, bought and fixed up a house, worked hard, read a lot, traveled, gardened, and learned to cook like a pro. After years of being controlled and manipulated, I liked having the first and final vote. My life was complete. Eventually, I met a fellow chump, and even more eventually, I remarried. But that was an unexpected bonus. It can happen, even in midlife. And the best way to meet a person with your values is still the old fashioned way–through mutual friends, family members or organizations to which you belong.

  • NJ here – 50, married for 20 years, 2 kids, dday 3.5 years ago 1.5 years divorced. Was thinking that NOW I need to get back out there after endless going nowhere flirtation with a committment phobic eternal bachelor friend. And you’ve all gone and freaked me out…….
    Back to my hole I go.

  • Where are all the good single men? They’re out there asking: Where are all the good single women?

    It’s totally normal to wonder if you’ll ever find a good man again and to worry about being single ( Unwanted?) for the rest of your life.

    When you have a better idea of who you are, on your own, doing things your own way, and when you start loving you and your flaws, and most likely “rediscover old passions and hobby you ‘ll spot them- the good single men. They’ll spot you too, perhaps, especially if you make the first move. Be authentic. Love yourself, Know yourself. Be confident in your boundaries. Get out there. Where you want and like to be.

    The thought of not finding a man is frightening; however, once you ‘ve found yourself again, you might get so immersed in something ( not necessarily someone) you love that you’ll fill whole all on your own.

    Which is exactly what Chump lady wrote! Lol

  • Signs you’re not ready for dating:
    -Yearning for companionship
    -Worrying about future events you can’t control
    -Loneliness is overwhelming
    -Ongoing need to be loved
    -Relationships determine how you gauge self worth. For example: feeling incomplete, needing validation, external judgement.

    When you reach the point where it doesn’t matter to you whether you find someone or wind up alone for the rest of your life…that’s when you’re ready to start dating.
    If you don’t like being alone, then you need to figure out what it is that you don’t like about the company you keep when you’re by yourself.
    The only person who can repair you, is you.
    Seeing ourselves through the eyes of others is what initially got us here.

    • Agreed. However, I think it’s within human nature to want companionship. What that companionship is, though, can matter alot to us chumps. If you’re someone who is alone a lot by circumstances and don’t like it, well there are dozens of way to be less alone that don’t involve awkward dates with strangers. We’ve all become so isolated from one another.

      Before I thought about dating to combat loneliness as a chump (or anyone really) I’d assess my level social isolation and see what can be done there. Are you spending enough time with loved ones? Are you accepting invitations or rejecting them? Are you pursuing your interests and trying new ones? Are you at all engaged with the community around you?

      The letter writer mentions suggestions about grocery store hookups…so I’m thinking if your friends, those people who know you, are suggesting you might find a mate at a grocery store, this is telling me you don’t do alot of stuff outside your home…except grocery shop. I truly think people ar ein denial about how isolated they actually are.

  • We need more- on the bright side posts! Yes- I was 35 when I was divorced and started dating, but I met lots of nice and normal guys. These comments are a lot like , “kids these days…” troupe- great thing to bond over complaining- but it really just paints a one dimensional picture. and you get to decide if you want to see them again. And I don’t got one enjoy the posts by the special men giving us women advice. Ugh- thank you Mr. Patriarchy for your wonderful advice on how to catch such a rare species as you.

  • Maybe that’s why I talk so much with my dogs?
    But now that I think if it, I felt more lonely when my ex lived with me and talked to my dogs a lot even them. I’m a dog whisperer so I’ve heard !

    I agree with your comment- loneliness and carrying the weight of all the responsibilities alone is a tough reality.

  • Great advice as always CL. I’m probably gonna be unpopular for this opinion (I’ve posted it before), but I don’t think dating websites are a good idea for chumps, or anyone really. I know there are success stories, but those appear to be the exception not the norm (I’ve gotten this by watching my friends date online). You’re basically person shopping, and that’s demeaning to all parties involved.

    Also not a fan of actively seeking out companionship. As some have pointed out, if you’re at the place that you’re lonely and longing then you’re already at a disadvantage in terms of calibrating your picker. This is dangerous for non-chumps but especially for us chumps.

    There is no replacement for being an involved member of society and meeting like-minded individuals. Forget about the “meet cute,” what are the odds the man of your dreams is gonna see you reading on a park bench and approach you?! But what are the odds that you find someone you really like when you’re doing your job or practicing with your 5k running team or taking that pottery class you’ve always been interested in or trying out Cross Fit or attending that silly trivia night at your local bar? I think, much higher.

    Advice: say “yes” to things that engage you with your community and with your friends. Say yes to trivia night, say yes to joining that stupid 5k training club, say yes to that education course you’ve put off taking, say yes to volunteering at your local charity, say yes to that girls trip, etc. Whenever you can, say yes.

    But as many have pointed out above, you gotta fix that picker first. So say yes but also work on fixing your red flag deficiencies before doing anything more than meeting someone for coffee or laughing together at one of these “yes” events.

    I firmly believe there are more good people than bad out there. The bad just get a lot more air time. I believe that if most people were to take an honest audit of their lives, they would see how isolated they have become. It’s a social epidemic right now. Combat that isolation and you’re organically working toward more connection with others.

    • I agree with every word of this.

      If you volunteer at a VA hospital or a nursing home, maybe you meet someone’s son or daughter or niece or nephew.

      If you work at the food bank, you meet other people who care about feeding the struggling and the poor.

      If you take photos in your local park, you meet other people who love the outdoors or who see the world through their camera.

      If you join a co-ed sports league for all ages, you meet all sorts of people. Some might be the right age to date. Some may have kids or parents the right age.

      We met people at HS and college and on the job because we were there. As we get older, we may need to get out there to find our tribe. But literally everyone we meet might know someone who would be a good fit.

  • As a Chump and Widow (and I have a number of friends in each camp) who is happily repartnered, I am really careful to never post stuff about how wonderful my newhusband is on FB as I fear I may hurt people I love. I don’t define “success” as repartnering…I define success as survival.

    The truth is that Round 2 is rough…by our early 50s, many guys who would have seemed reasonable partner material 25 years ago have either 1) died 2) betrayed their first family 3) admitted the homosexuality they denied in 1983. At this stage, men die at 3-4 times women so there are 3 or 4 widows for each widower.

    When I went exclusive with my nowhusband (who was 12 years sep, 10 yrs div, 6 years without a date) I had a couple of men on my radar…one I had just broken up with, 2 who were players and I was extricating myself from interacting with them and one seemingly nice fellow who could not spell well (he had potential). There are some nice fellows but I dont think in the numbers we would hope. If my husband predeceases me, Im not going to remarry again…I had one bad one and one good one…I dont think the universe is handing out more than one good one. (I spoke to a gal whose sister lost her wonderful husband to a young death and she told me what a great guy he was and my thought was “Nope, the universe is NOT sending another one of those”. ) Also, like LAJ, I dont want to ever live with another man…I want a dog and a cloth sofa.

    We’re not alone in this, young men are in crisis in our culture…I raised 2 young men really well and neither would make a decent partner. I am afraid that many young women who hope to marry a nice man never will…too many of them are playing video games in their moms basement well into their 30s.

    I think were in a cultural shift away from the strict, legal, socially expected coupling of the past. I think it will be better in some ways and worse in others. I look at my Cheater and he would have been a horrible husband to anyone…he should have never married but bent to social expectation and resented the hell out if it and I suffered mightily for it.

    • Great post UNM. I have not repartnered since my divorce and while I do get lonely sometimes and wish for some quality companionship, I have no desire to be married or live with a man again. Basically, I want my mom’s life. My parents had a fantastic marriage until my dad was lost to early onset dementia. After he died my mom and one of her neighbors who was a widower (the two couples had known each other for years) became what my mom refers to as “close companions”. They go out to eat, go to plays and musicals, etc., basically enjoy each other’s company as much as they want and when my mom is ready for some alone time, her close companion toddles off to his own house a few doors down from my mom. It’s heaven! He is a very nice man and he adores my mom and I love to see how much fun they have doing all the things my mom always wanted to do but didn’t because my dad had no interest in going to the annual Manheim Steamroller concert with her, lol. My daughter, who is in her 20’s and I often remark that we want to find our very own “Jerry” just like Nana did. 🙂

    • Oh if this ain’t the truth. I bent to that same expectation as well, which is why I convinced myself that Mr. Red Flags would be a good husband.

      Your societal observations are very astute. There are lots of great young men out there who might make good husbands in 20 years once they grow up, but they aren’t going to be forced to grow up in the ways they used to be forced (which I agree is a good thing in some regards but bad in others). As much as being a single middle-aged lady can be challenging, I feel worse for a young, authentic, smart, ambitious woman who looks on the horizon and sees not much in the way of adequate partnership. The young women who I know of that have happily partnered up with young men have done so with guys who have already had the life experience of responsibility and aren’t afraid of the responsibilities of marriage and a family, such as service men or cops/firefighters. Not saying there aren’t great young men out there, but certainly the trend of young men putting off substantial responsibility is a real thing.

      Best of luck to us all!

      • I also have a theory about something I already think is a thing…I think that handsome young men will rarely because they can easily get sex. If women want to marry they will marry unattractive men who are willing to commit in order to have lovely wives. Yes, I do feel bad for young women. I at least had my chance (even though it sucked)

        One of my sons dated a medical student from an Ivy League school…she said that neither she nor any woman she knew all through undergrad was ever invited on a proper date, not once ever.

        • Oh Lord. Was just talking to an older male friend about chivalry. He’s a “pay the bill, open the door, ask her out on a proper date” kinda guy. But he’s in his mid 40s. Chivalry does exist in many young men but I think it surfaces in different ways. I guess I’d give younger women the same advice I give us older chumps–build the life you want for yourself and see what falls into place. As Steinem said “we’re becoming the men we wanted to marry.” And also, keep an open mind. Love does not always come in the package you expect it to.

          But yea, I steer clear of pretty boys. Maybe that’s discriminatory but my gut tells me to avoid them. Give me kind eyes and a dad bod any day!

  • All is definitely well with me, though I’m not sure if “happy“ is the right adjective; rather, I’d say I’m settled, content, living a very authentic life and am at peace.

    Generally, I take very good care of myself… I get out of house as often as possible for regular exercise, to meet friends, volunteer, travel, enjoy various types of entertainment (theatre, concerts, comedy, etc.), all while managing my own successful business; despite being 64, I usually feel like I’m in my 40’s.

    Every day, I live in the fertile Land of Gratitude. I’m grateful for so many things… that God pulled me through the minefield with all my limbs intact, that I’m financially independent (no thanks to my XH’s financial exploitation), that I can sleep soundly in the little bungalow that has only my name on the deed, that I have a loving family — 3 sons, 2 DILs, 1-year old granddaughter, 2 sisters (1 of whom was just chumped, dumped and divorced by her husband of 30 years) and extended FOO — that my friends have steadfastly supported me, and that I attend a vibrant church that feeds my spirit. Most important, I’m learning to trust — and believe — that I truly am a woman of worth (no small task after 4 decades of being systematically devalued and disrespected by a serial cheater and porn addict) and I bring a beautiful, colorful and bountiful harvest to the table.

    My final D-Day was 6 1/2 years ago and the divorce was finalized almost 4 years ago. I’m still not dating for 2 reasons:

    (1) I now seek authenticity in all aspects of my life; the thought of using dating apps and putting up with all of the BS and superficial posturing and games (like unsolicited dick pics, crazy people love bombing and stalking you, being ghosted, catching an STD) is a difficult hurdle for me to overcome. Maybe I’m just not cut out for 21st-century dating! I participate in a number of business, civic and community groups, and I’ve met some nice people there, but no one with romantic relationship “potential”.

    (2) I haven’t been asked out. Despite having a loving family and wide and diverse network of friends, I often feel invisible to the outside world at large. Not an uncommon experience for single women in my age group.

    Foolish as it may sound, I keep praying that God, in His infinite wisdom and power, will organically bring the right man into my life; by “right man”, I mean someone with a godly character… an active Christ-follower with high integrity, truthful, responsible, kind, compassionate, loyal, emotionally available, hard-working, patient, unpretentious, generous, etc. I care a lot more about these intrinsic character traits than I do about “characteristics”… worldly things like what kind of car they drive, their zip code, their job title, their annual income, etc… or their physical attributes (which they have no power to change), like their height, eye color, a full head of hair, etc. I’ve met women who refuse to date any man who’s bald, less than 6‘2“ tall, has anything other than blue eyes, and if they happened to be born with a small dick, then Oy, fuhgeddaboudit!

    Of course, I realize my perfect partner may not exist, and if that’s the case, then it is what it is. I’m taking it one day at a time, living my life, and finding joy where I can. ❤️

  • this must be on a lot of women’s minds. I follow this blog “Honey Good” whose motto is ” How to be visible. Be vibrant. Be you.” (I hope this is okay to shout out another empowering source)
    Today’s topic was ” Do’s and Don’t for using dating apps for women over 50.”
    I have found a few good blogs for women over 50 which make me feel like I have to wide open road ahead of me. (And if you are lucky enough to be 20 years younger than me today, count your blessings. ) Some of my sites are fluff, talking about fashion and travel and beauty as we age, whereas Chump Lady and some other wellness sites act as a mental support networks.
    I need them all and they help me feel like I am enough for any man.

  • I met my GF on Tinder (I was just looking for a hook up, but then I met her). Before her, I dated and had casual sex with a number of women ranging from late-20s to mid-50s. I guess was mostly trying to prove to myself I was still desirable after my ex’s cheating emasculated me.

    But, then I met my GF and everything changes. She’s kind and honest, truly amazing and isn’t a vulnerable narcissist like my ex. She supports me and helps around the house and loves my kids. All I ever wanted was someone who is a partner and is trustworthy.

    Many will say it’s too quick as my divorce isn’t finalized yet, but f*ck them. I’m in my mid-40s, successful, and a helluva catch. I know I am fine alone, but I don’t have to be.

  • One comment sticks with me, and is one of the major problems with being chumpy -‘Everyone (unless they’re a sociopath) wants to bond’. Yeah, they want to control, but they hop in the dating pool and act super-normal – in fact better than normal, so that they’ll hook you on the line – and next thing you know… That’s the major dilemma: should you refuse to trust that they’re an awesome person that you’ve just happened to meet and dump them and miss out, or should you go for it, and they may be okay, but you may have a psycho on your hands? I guess taking it slowly and looking for the flags is key. Wearing rose-coloured glasses means you can’t see the red flags.

  • Lack if trust doesn’t make you a sociopath. It’s a normal response to being betrayed. Lack of empathy or concern for others makes you a sociopath. You can heal and trust again. Have you done any therapy for trauma?

  • You have been badly burned. You need time and space and probably some therapy (self help, counseling, journaling, medication, exercise – your choice) to start to reconnect with others. Baby steps.

    Your present state isn’t permanent. Not unless you want it to be!

    There are multiple relationships waiting for you out there – but none of them has to be romantic. Learning to rebuild through friendship, good relationships with work colleagues, random people in the street, people in the post office, the guy who makes your coffee …

    Start here. It’s a free training ground for practising reconnection and relearning trust. Treat your daily world as a free school, and practice your skills there.

    It gets easier. I promise.

  • Timely. Was hit on by a married friend last night. Actually if the four men to hit on me recently, three were married. I spoke to one who said that married men get their fun and single women get sex and money without the responsibility of a partner. He declared :what could be easier!
    I remain unmoved. It sounds like stress to me.

    • I believe much of what is said about dating sites here….more than 90% of communication is non-verbal. I think it’s too easy to lie on those sites. And I am 5 years out and 57. My life isn’t perfect but it’s full. I am thinking of going back to work part time. My aging parents and my lovely granddaughter are going to need more of my time. Not a lot of time to invest in dating/culling/vetting/weeding. Besides, I’m not sure I’ll ever be interested. I’m not gonna say “never”. But it is unlikely. I love to hear about chumps finding great new spouses. Love stories are really nice. But you know what? I love me. It’s well past the time that someone does. Lack of self respect and self worth got me to this place – however that happened, it is based there.

      Not everyone gets the fairytale. Not sure why. I got a great dog. I raised 2 wonderful sons. I am financially secure but there are no trips to Europe in my future. Compared to the absolute horror that can and does happen to other people all the time – I will gratefully accept this life and my many blessings, and be content.

      So I wish you all whatever your heart desires….if that’s a new partner, use those boundaries and insights. If not, there’s nothing wrong with being single.

  • A half-century ago, only 2.8 percent of Americans older than 50 were divorced. By 2000, 11.8 percent were. In 2011, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 15.4 percent were divorced and another 2.1 percent were separated. Some 13.5 percent were widowed.

    Well, so there’s that.. using that math, there must be a LOT of 50 something divorced men…

  • Not all Chumps are nice people either. Even Chump Nation members.

    One Chump I know made contact with a local male Chump while organising a group meetup. He wasn’t able to make it, but wanted to chat anyway.

    But when she couldn’t make it to a meetup with him, and apologised politely via email, he turned nasty (on a dime) and accused her of abusing him and ghosting him.

    I’ve seen the whole exchange, and the female Chump wasn’t leading him on or flirting in the slightest.

    I am sure this is a outlier, because most of the male Chumps who post are good guys. But it’s another good reason not to treat Chump Nation as a dating pool! Wounded people need to heal, not date.

    • At my one and only chump meetup one of the other lady chumps talked about dating in her younger years and not caring about whether the men she was seeing were married men, because that was on them. It was a strange thing to say at a meetup, so someone asked her if she had regrets about her past. She was entirely unapologetic. It threw all of us off and was a strong reminder that just because we are fellow chumps, we don’t necessarily share the same values. I was just grateful she announced hers up front.

  • “…Similarly, you might want to find Mr. Right. You can online date your heart out, get fixed up with every widower at your church, and lay in wait in the frozen vegetable aisle. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t. But don’t predicate your happiness on it happening. Go be your best, happiest self without a relationship and see what happens….”

    I’ve said for years that I will end up finding my true love in the frozen food aisle at the Walmart in my sweatpants and Crocs 😅😂😅😂😂

    I’ve been single for almost four years now and I have been on three dates — all duds.

    I’ve gone to weddings, Mardi Gras balls, social events, etc. solo or with friends. I’ve honestly happier going out with them or solo than I ever did with exh2.

    I’ve always told myself that going home alone, or getting lonely is better than being with exh2.

    Some day it will happen, but I’m living my best life these days. I’m a 48-year-old mom of an Autistic daughter and my order kids are 19 and 25. I’m a crafter- I make wreaths and I’m really good at it. I’m a homebody and living a peaceful and happy life.

    Cheers to a fuckwit free life!
    Find your happy and live it!

    • Yay, Unsinkable. Love your spirit & cheers to a Fuckwit Free Life.
      I’m a fellow mom of a daughter with Autism. She’s on break with STBX
      this week. It’s too quiet. I have been “re-appreciating” her all week. I’m
      sure there will be a million things that I did “wrong” while he had her all
      week with nothing planned so they are sitting in the hotel…in Orlando.

      • How in the hell do you do “nothing” in Orlando?!?!? I can’t even…
        Being an Autism mom is job that you just have to find your “new normal” …
        I’m on Facebook daily, I have work friends, I have my friends outside if work, I craft at home, watch a lot of TV, try to keep things calm, quiet, orderly.
        DD is a great “good person” detector, if they’re not a good person, DD picks up quick and reacts.
        They’re have been VERY few me. Around her in the last few years besides her dad (poor kid), so they guy that comes around better be the one because if DD doesn’t gel with him and vice versa, nope!!!
        It’s been a long road for me to find my single hood again.
        I dated one boy in high school for about 18 months or so, then no one serious until late college, now-exh1. I went from exh1 to exh2 super-fast quick within 6 weeks from divorce being final.with exh1 to now-exh2.
        Been four years now to the day of D-Day and I like the life I have now
        Drama-free, trying to be a good person, living a good, clean life.
        I have hope for the future!!!

  • I’m 39 and my divorce is still pending, but we haven’t lived together since July 2018, and I am “getting out there.” I’m still pretty damaged, so my guard is always up.

    It seems to me there needs to be balance between refusing to date until you are ready, which could take years and possibly delay your ability to move on from your old life, and just casually dating just to get yourself out there. Like that book called, “It’s Just An F’ing Date!” I’m trying to take that approach to it.

    I think some red flags (at least for women) can size up the guy early on if you go by the following rules:
    1. If he doesn’t ask you out a few days in advance (esp for a Saturday nite) – NEXT! My cheater exhusband planned dates with women on work trips 2 weeks in advance, even purchased condoms a week in advance for the dates, so men are completely capable of planning several days in advance if they really want to see you. They are not Timid Forest Creatures who are So Confused about what they are supposed to do.
    2. If he cancels a date – NEXT! This is hugely indicative that he is married or involved with someone else based on my experience with the cheater I was married to. Cancelling dates is a serious red flag.
    3. By date 4, if he’s not pinning you down for the next time he will see you by the time the date is over – NEXT! He’s keeping his options open! This also comes from my experience with the cheater I was married to.

    • BABS! BABS!

      Just read your opening paragraph again? Out loud this time?

      “I’m 39 and my divorce is still pending, but we haven’t lived together since July 2018, and I am “getting out there.” I’m still pretty damaged, so my guard is always up.”

      You aren’t divorced yet. You’ve been separated for LESS THAN A YEAR – that would be eight months in total.

      I am going to be horribly honest: what you’re doing might not be dating – it might actually be medicating with people.

      If you’re healing – and I hope you are – then why are you dating?

      Dating isn’t healing, especially not this soon. It’s like waxing your legs a fortnight after a bad fall from a fast motorbike while you were wearing shorts.

      It’s the OPPOSITE of healing, especially for someone recently Chumped and still not divorced yet.

      One of the nice things about Chump Nation is that people here say out loud the stuff that other people – who say, ‘Aw, well, you do you, and if it helps, you just go right ahead’ – are too scared or too uncaring to say.

      So I do apologize if this looks like sticking in my oar, but that’s exactly what I’m doing.

      Is there a reason why you can’t be on your own for a while, and give yourself time to process?

      • I’m not “with” people. I’m available to go on dates if someone asks me. And my attitude is “it’s just an f’ing date.” I’m not sleeping around and I’m active in my community and in activities I haven’t done in years. My job is going well. I’ve weeded out everyone I’ve went out with so far (3 total). Or maybe they weeded me out. Either way, I am out there living life!

        My therapist told me that the time I spent trying to reconcile (7 months) with my exhusband was actually a sign that I am healthy, that was the healthy thing to do. But I need to fix my picker and work on myself. My thought is hobbies and job to keep improving me, casual dating here and there to get experience with weeding out the bad ones.

        I trust that I don’t suck. I know the kind of partner I was. I do think it’s a mistake for women to waste more years of their lives until they feel “ready” to date. In 10 years if I’m still having lunch with a bunch of cackling divorced moms and single, that’s fine by me! Hope I’m still posting and sharing on Chump lady too! But I still think it’s best to get yourself out there and keep moving forward, even if it seems too “early.”

  • We probably won’t agree because we’ve got two different world views.

    You define ‘moving forward’ and leaving behind your ‘old life’ as dating and being open to pairing up again. I define ‘moving forward’ and leaving behind my ‘old life’ as getting happier and healthy, whether I pair up or not.

    You define ‘getting out there’ as being available for dates. I define ‘getting out there’ as investing in the people and world and relationships around me, without dating anyone.

    I don’t think time spent on healing as a single person is ever wasted, even if it’s years – even if it’s the rest of your life. It’s not a sign of a failure to move on. It’s not a sign of a morbid determination to remain unhealed.

    It’s simply what a lot of women – and men – need to fix their picker and stop retraumatizing themselves.

    Plenty of female Chumps here are doing this already, and they are a really good advertisement for gaining a happy and healthy life without dating at all, or wanting to do so right now.

    What we also see plenty of in Chump Nation is people who moved on too fast with disastrous results, because they felt they had to prove that they were healed, or ready, or still attractive, or still desirable, or because their need for someone to help them feel whole/pay bills/raise children overrode their common sense and self-preservation.

    So yeah, we would both agree that it’s a balancing act.

    • If you’re treating dating like therapy, then yes, I agree it’s a bad idea to date because the only ones you will attract are predators. If you treat it like a side hobby, with a blasé attitude as I do, then I think you’re better off getting out there and taking that picker on practice runs.

  • My cousin was one of my ex’s best friends (not anymore since he left me to be with the OW and my cousin realized that my ex also spent those affair years lying to him too). He recently recalled a conversation that my ex had with him a few years ago that he things was my ex alluding to the fact that he’d just met to OW.

    My ex was describing to my cousin a night out that he had just recently had with another friend of his who was a single man. So my ex was the married guy going out to a bar with his single buddy. My ex described how crazy it was to watch his single friend in action at this age (40s) with all these available cougar women. He described all these women who were just desperate for any guy who just appeared normal after they’d just been treated horribly by their husbands in their marriages. He went on to say how all he needed was to say how he was an accountant and talk like a normal nice guy and women were just clamouring to talk with him. He also found that talking about his kids got women “oohing” and “awing” and lamenting that it’s too bad that he’s married but that his wife is a lucky woman.

    The reason that we think that my ex was describing the night he met his OW is because during the year of the “pick me” dance, he had described how he met her in a bar with his friend and that initially he had offered to help her do her books as she was self-employed and recently gotten out of a marriage with a horribly controlling man (the truth is she cheated on him, assaulted him, had a peace bond issued against her and had access to her three kids only every other weekend).

    What makes me cringe now is the idea that I could be one of those 40-something women at a bar being fooled by a seemingly nice, educated, well-employed guy who just sees me as desperate. The thought makes me cringe. If I were to hear a man speak about his kids now upon meeting him, I will just think, “Great, he thinks he can rope me in by making me think he’s such an involved sensitive dad.” Or, I’ll be suspicious if he offers to help me with anything because that’s just another ploy to appeal to my desperation to have a man around to do things because my “life must be so hard now.”

    So not feeling that dating is for me right now, although I sometimes wonder if it would just be fun to go on a series of really terrible dates just so that I’ve got some funny stories to tell or write about.

  • I’m 2 years out but nowhere near dating at all, or the thought of it for that matter, but I can say that I’m either very perceptive now or very biased. Or perhaps both. Nevertheless, I look people in the eye now and I know what to look out for. I know exactly who spells trouble now, and have correctly guessed all the jerks in people around me (like I said, not potential partners, but just people in general). What I have not found is someone who didn’t give me red flags. So there’s either something off in my settings for now, or truly all people are possessed by evil. Time reveals!

  • There are plenty of good men out there. We got thrown out it to the dating world like the women here (my mid-forties). I had high standards but no checklist. I was told I was “fresh meat”. I did date a couple of women I have known for decades. But they either weren’t ready for a deeper relationship (still to damaged from being chumped) or had very difficult circumstances (parents and kids lived with her). I just hung out in mixed groups. Met a fellow chump who was playing games with some older friends of mine. I went outside my box dating her. Even physically. I pretty much dated only redheads and married one. Got engaged to a Jamician. We compliment each other very well. Know your self-worth and don’t settle. Listen to your gut.

  • I took a 3 year period of no hookups or dating after my divorce from cheater; mostly because I was burnt out/broken and had a very cynical view of relationships. I had absolutely no desire to date or couple ever again. Instead, I invested that time in self care, healing and rebuilding a life. I went back to school, started working for myself, started exercising and eating right, picked my instrument back up and started playing again, worked on solidifying my good relationships and cutting out the bad ones… Boy am I glad I did! I ended up becoming friends with a lovely individual who I had absolutely no romantic or physical attraction to, but over the years, grew to love this person as an individual.
    Sure I had opportunities to date, or found myself sexually attracted to people I didn’t really know, or people who exhibited behaviors that didn’t align with my values…you know, the unavailable ones- the guy fresh out of a relationship, the weekly party guy, the girl crazy guy or the guy who had conflicting religious beliefs or the guys who has no experience with kids. Ultimately I determined that I was attracted to these men out of previous patterns of chasing after people who didn’t love me. I held out and chose not to date them and acknowledge the red flags.
    Then, one day it happened. I felt confident in my ability to set boundaries, and healed enough to just open my heart again and let down the walls I built. Turns out the friend that I had no attraction to, made the most sense for me to date, simply because we had very similar values and also because this individual made a commitment to self-love and self-care. Initially I didn’t feel any sparks, and did not want to lead this person on. Slowly, over the weeks we started to hang out more frequently, the love that I felt for this human being grew, and the sparks organically followed! Little did I know that getting into a relationship with this person would become the most rewarding experience, so far, and is entirely different than any of the relationships I’ve previously had. Tracy is right when she says good people make the effort. I have seen nothing but love and reciprocal behavior from this individual, and quite honestly, I’m having the best sex of my life with him, because of the love and genuine feelings. My trust issues are slowly dissipating with every interaction and connection we have, even during conflict between us. He actually validates my point of view, takes responsibility and we both gently work together to come to an understanding. The biggest difference between this relationship versus previous ones, is that I genuinely feel resolved after our conflicts, and feel deeper love and gratitude for this individual in my life. He is quite a bit older than me and not really the type of man I would have generally gone for… which is exactly why I chose him and it has proved the best choice so far! He is definitely my kind of weird and I can be myself in front of him. My family has told him that they have never seen me so happy in my entire life. We are still fairly new, about eight months in, but I feel confident because I got to know him over a long period, as a person, first, with no ulterior motives or pick me dancing. You will know and feel the difference when picking a good partner, mostly because I feel that it will happen really organically; and the surprises you encounter as you go further into your relationship will be good and not bad. It will definitely feel foreign from the way you have been in previous relationships, but once you learn a new normal in relating, the old way is no longer attractive. The good people really are out there, but you have to take a second or third look, and give it some time. You do learn how to trust again, and the security of knowing that someone loves you as much as you love them, is priceless.

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